Recovery of valuable additive from waste residue after methanol solvent recovery
Key Focus Area
Currently, an estimated volume of 600 metric tonnes (mt) of chemical wastes collected from associated partners for recovery of methanol solvent are being processed every month through the plant’s existing solvent recovery unit which consists of reboiler, condenser stripping & rectification sections. These sections are filled with structured & trays packing, respectively and are originally designed for purification of methanol.
The typical chemical waste feed contains 35-37% of Methanol and 3-4 % other solvents along with metilox, IX1010 and triester etc. There are also traces of other solvents like IPA, Methyl acrylate, iso-octanol, etc.
Recovery from this chemical waste often yields about 35% of methanol (~210mt), leaving behind 60% to 65% of residue. This volume of residue needs to be treated either through disposal or incineration, which incurs high cost.
It is believed that this residue can be further processed and converted into valuable, usable chemical products, one of which is metilox. It was found that the chemical waste feed often contains 10-15% of metilox, which upon recovery could be used as an antioxidant additive to enhance performance of lubricant oil.
The industry currently lacks the capability to more effectively treat waste residue after methanol recovery and recover meaningful contents from this residue, in this case metilox, which can be used as an antioxidant agent in lubricant oil production. This challenge calls for a novel separation technique which can be employed to process waste residue and convert it into valuable products.
The solution is expected to:
- Recover up to 15% of metilox, and potentially any other meaningful contents from the waste residue
- Recovered metilox should meet the specifications to be blended with in- house lubricant products for the external market
- The treatment & recovery process should be operated in batches, with minimum manpower required
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