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The Chemical Engineer's Book Corner

coverIndustrial Organic Chemistry, Third Edition

Author(s): K. Weissermel and H.-J. Arpe
Publisher: VCH Publishers, Inc.

Bottom Line:  If you want to know more about the chemistry behind the popular industrial organic processes including reaction schemes, temperatures, and pressure, then this is the book for you.  If you need process flow diagrams and equipment details, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Summary:  "Industrial Organic Chemistry" focuses of describing the chemistry behind the most popular organic industrial reactions.   Besides covering the most popular reaction schemes used today, this book also does a great job of covering outdated or previously utilized technologies as well.  Going a step further, you'll also find out why the newer technologies have replaced the ones of days past. 

     The book is divided into the following main sections: 
Various Aspects of the Energy and Raw Material Supply
Basic Products of Industrial Syntheses
Syntheses Involving Carbon Monoxide
Oxidation Products of Ethylene
Vinyl-Halogens and Vinyl-Oxygen Compounds
Components for Polyamides
Propene Conversion Products
Aromatics-Products and Conversion
Benzene Derivatives
Oxidation Products of Xylene and Naphthalene

     Each synthesis is accompanied by information such as industrial reaction schemes, common reaction temperatures and pressures, reaction phase, catalyst description, technology owners, capacity statistics at time of publishing (mid 1990's). 

Layout:    The use of sidebars to draw out highlights throughout the book makes finding crucial information easy and efficient.  Chief reaction schemes are highlighted and often include the heat of reaction.   More complicated reaction schemes are provided in the back of the book on foldout sheets to enhance readability.  The index is comprehensive enough to make finding what you need even easier.

From the Book: Potential Developments in Acetic Acid Manufacture
     Heichst also developed a fixed-bed catalyzed direct synthesis of the three oxygenated C2 compounds from synthesis gas.  For example, at 290 0C and 50 bars, a total selectivity to the O-C2 compounds of up to 80% with a space time yield of 200 g/L h can be attained with a Rh-Yb-Li/SiO2 catalyst.  With an additional oxidation of the crude product, and after extraction and separation of propionic and butyric acids, acetic acid is obtained as the main product.

Highs:     Contains information that you're hard pressed to find in any other single reference.  Information is presently in an easy to read, concise manner. 

Lows:     We'd like to see a bit more emphasis on reaction economics.  Don't expect to find process flow diagrams and expanded information about the equipment used in the processes.

Overall:     This book has helped to answer many questions received from visitors to The Chemical Engineers' Resource Page.  If you're involved in the refinery or petrochemical business segment, then this book should certainly be on your shelf.  This title would also be of great assistance to students who need further education in industrial chemistry.

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