Alkoxylation for Surfactant Productions: Toward the Continuous Reactors

Alkoxylation for Surfactant Productions: Toward the Continuous Reactors
Riccardo Tesser, Vincenzo Russo, Elio Santacesaria, Wiesław Hreczuch, Martino Di Serio

Front. Chem. Eng., 21 August 2020 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fceng.2020.000074

Alkoxylation is surely an important reaction as it is industrially used to produce surfactants. The actual technology is to convert ethylene oxide/propylene oxide with a long-chained alcohol, catalyzed by a homogeneous catalyst (e.g., KOH). Traditionally, the operation is conducted in semi-batch systems characterized by a low productivity. As the demand of surfactant production is increasing, it is natural to shift to a continuous process. In the present review article, the most recent efforts dealing with the alkoxylation processes in continuous are reported, analyzing critically the results reported in both the scientific and patent