Optimization of Saponification Reaction in a Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR) Using Design of Experiments

I. Ullah, M. I. Ahmad, M. Younas


The objective of this study was to maximize the conversion of saponification reaction in a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR). Full two-level factorial design and response surface methodology (RSM) were used t o d e t e r m i n e t h e optimum values of significant factors. The effect of five factors (sodium hydroxide and ethylacetate concentrations, feed ratio, agitation rate and temperature) was studied on the fractional conversion of sodium hydroxide (XNaOH). As a result of screening experiments, two factors (sodium hydroxide and ethylacetate concentrations) and their combined effect were found to be significant operating parameters for the saponification reaction in continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR). The optimum values of these significant factors were also determined using response surface methodology (RSM). For maximum conversion of sodium hydroxide (XNaOH), i.e., 96.71%, the optimum values of sodium hydroxide and ethylacetate concentrations were found to be 0.01mol/L and 0.1 mol/L, respectively. Acorrelation was developed to show the relationship between different significant factors and response. The validity of the model was checked using analysis of variance (ANOVA). The experimental results are believed to be within reasonable accuracy and may be applicable for the improvement of such processes on industrial scale.

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