IEX Resin
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Application of ion exchange resins in petrochemical industries

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Ion exchange resins are insoluble matrices including exchangeable ions. Because of their insolubility of them, they are useful. They can be used in columns and also chromatographic separations. They are reusable and can be used several times. Because of this issue, they can be considered environmentally friendly. They can be used in different processes containing softening of water, treatment of wastewater, separation, purification, chromatography, and catalyzed process. They are good choices as catalysts, especially in the esterification process.
Esterification can be considered one of the most important organic synthesis processes in petrochemical. The most applicable esters used in the petrochemical industries include acetate, acrylate, maleates, and acetate esters. This kind of ester is applicable to produce adhesives, films, aromatic materials, fibres, and plastics.
In the presented review, we studied the application of ion exchange resins in the esterification process. The efficiency of ion exchange resins as catalysts was compared with each other.

Esterification process using ion exchange resins as a catalyst

Esterification of Acetic Acid:

Usually, acetic acid which was produced in the industry has been applied to produce acetate. Alcohol has been used to produce acetate. Ethanol and hexanol are frequent alcohol for the production of acetate. Ion exchange resins have been applied as catalysts for the production of acetic acid.

Esterification of Acrylic Acid:

Ion exchange resin has been used as a catalyst for the production of acrylate esters. Acrylate esters have been used to produce copolymers and homopolymers.

Esterification of Lactic Acid:

Ion exchange resins have been applied for the esterification of lactic acid in the presence of alcohol.

Esterification of Maleic Acid :

Esterification of maleic acid can produce dibutyl maleate which Can be applied as a copolymer and plasticizer.

Other applications

Ion exchangers can also be used to selectively absorb greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from air or exhaust gas.In order to produce products and liquids like PVC, paper, cellulose, disinfectants, bleach, and aluminum compounds, basic chemicals like sodium hydroxide, chlorine gas, and hydrogen gas are required. These are produced by electrolyzing sodium chloride brine with chloralkali. Ion exchangers have proven to be effective in challenging situations like the chloralkali electrolysis of these hot, highly concentrated brines. They effectively remove heavy metal ions or alkaline earth ions, safeguarding the membranes employed in environmentally beneficial and energy-efficient membrane processes. Similar methods can be used to treat other process solutions, including pickling acids, rinse water, and electroplating baths.

Ion exchange resins are also used in the following petrochemical and chemical processing processes:

  • Amine reclamation
  • Bisphenol-A synthesis
  • Chlor alkali
  • Condensate polishing
  • Dealkalization
  • Demineralization
  • Esterification
  • Water softening
  • Monoethylene glycol (MEG)
  • Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) production
  • Oil removal from condensate
  • Phenol alkylation
  • Phenol purification
  • Precious metal recovery
  • Solvent purification
  • Tannin removal
  • Tert-amyl methyl ether (TAME) production