Skip to main content

Table 3 Summary of sensitivity analyses performed

From: Development of a sustainable process for the production of polymer grade lactic acid

No. Equipment Process variables Objective variables (Sensitivity) Base case process variable Process variable variation range Objective variable variation range Optimum process variable value
1 Lactic acid separator (Separator 3) No. of stages Lactic acid purity (Mass fraction) 9 9 - 11 0.99 – 0.99 9
2 Distillate to feed 0.5 0.5 - 0.7 0.83 – 0.99 0.65
3 Reflux ratio 1 1 - 1.3 0.99 – 0.99 1
4 Feed location 5 4 - 5 0.99 – 0.99 5
5 Hydrolysis reactor Temperature (K) 373 313 - 413 0.62 – 0.62 373
6 Pure lactic acid flow (kg/hr) 0.015 0.01 – 0.05 0.62 – 0.62 0.01
7 Distilled water flow (kg/hr) 2 1.8 – 2.2 0.65 – 0.59 2
8 Bubble column reactor No. of stages Methyl lactate purity (Mass fraction) 17 5 - 17 0.63 – 0.64 17
9 Distillate to feed 0.7 0.4 – 0.81 0.47 - 0.74 0.8
10 Reflux ratio 2 1 - 4 0.64 – 0.64 1
11 Methanol feed stage 15 13 - 17 0.59 – 0.64 15
12 Heater 1 Temperature (K) 376 323 - 413 0.64 – 0.64 376
13 Heater 2 Temperature (K) 392 343 - 433 0.64 – 0.64 392
14 Splitter Methanol recycle split fraction 1 0.15 - 1 0.74 – 0.64 1
15 Methyl lactate separator (Separator 1) No. of stages 10 10 - 12 0.87 – 0.87 10
16 Distillate to feed 0.6 0.1 – 0.6 0.67 – 0.87 0.6
17 Reflux ratio 1.5 1 - 3 0.87 – 0.87 1
18 Feed location 5 3 - 8 0.86 – 0.87 6
  1. Note: Italicized numbers depict variables with significant variations over the range.