Researchers at HEL have developed a benchtop scale version of an industrial fixed bed reactor for three-phase reactions.
The technique involves three main designs; fluidised bed, packed bed and trickle bed. The note suggests various advantages the techniques have over a batch system, including: improved selectivity, lower catalyst use and low material inventory.
With fluidised bed and packed bed phases, a tubular reactor is filled with a catalyst and a reactive gas is dissolved into the reagent stream; once sufficiently high flow rates are achieved, the technique results in superior mixing and solid liquid contact, the research states.
The trickle bed technique offers one main difference; gas and liquid are fed independently into the top of the reactor. Gas is filtered through the reactor at a greater rate than the liquid, which is trickled through. The reaction, therefore, is not limited by the solubility of the gas.
The research summarises the potential of flow technologies, especially within the petrochemical industry, and considers the necessary catalyst size needed for specific applications.
The application note discusses the benefits of using the FlowCAT platform; a flow technique scalable to plant operations.
To download the application note, please click on the link above.