Comment on “Sulfonation of alkylbenzene using liquid sulfonating agent in rotating packed bed: Experimental and numerical study”

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter


Alkylbenzene sulfonate, as an important chemical material, is widely used in the processes of industrial washing, enhanced oil recovery and chemical production. A recent article by Sun et al. presents the modeling and experimental study on the sulfonation of alkylbenzene to synthesize alkylbenzene sulfonate in a rotating packed bed reactor. The authors investigate the effect of the rotating speed, of the liquid flow rate, of SO3 concentration in the sulfonating agent, of the sulfonation temperature and of the reactor packing thickness on the sulfonation performance. The results confirm that using such type of reactor allows significant intensification of the sulfonation due to excellent micromixing. We assume that there are some points that can improve this prospective scientific research. Although the article provides interesting information regarding modeled sulfonation process, the authors have not appropriately considered the side reactions occurring in the reactor. The problem of highly viscous components formation can be minimized in the investigated type of the reactor, but cannot be avoided completely. This should be necessarily considered in the mathematical modeling as the formation of such components violates the sulfonation. The next significant point is the absence of the experimental data on the alkylbenzenes composition as detailed analysis can bring new light to the mathematical model and improve the calculations accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-46
Number of pages2
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Highly viscous components
  • linear alkylbenzene
  • Sulfonation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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