Hydrodynamics of Taylor Flow in
Capillaries & Monolith Reactors

By Michiel Kreutzer
December 2003
Delft University Press
ISBN: 90-407-2443-1
206 pages, Illustrated, 6 " x 9 "
$59.50 Paper Original

This is a Ph.D. dissertation. Reactions involving gas, liquid and solid are found in many industrial processes. Usually, the solid is a heterogeneous catalyst, and the gas and liquid phases are the reactants. Because three phases are involved, the design of such reactors is complex and involves phenomena such as mass and heat transfer between the phases, intraparticle diffusion, backmixing, maldistribution and energy input. Three-phase reactors can be classified in two groups: (1) fixed-bed reactors, where the solid phase is stationary and the gas and liquid flow through the solid bed and (2) slurry reactors, where the solid catalyst - typically a fine powder - is flowing along with the gas and liquid phase, which are mixed either by the rising bubbles alone (bubble column reactor) or assisted by mechanical agitation (stirred slurry reactor). In fixed-bed systems, the solid catalyst is usually randomly dumped into a vessel, and the exact geometry of the space available for the fluids to flow through is ill-defined and varies from place to place within the reactor. In slurry reactors, the flow of bubbles, suspended catalyst and the liquid, relative to one another, is highly chaotic. In fact, chaos theory has proven itself as a reliable tool to characterize the latter systems. The fact that the behavior of the flow at any given point in time and space is not well known in either reactor makes the theoretical analysis of these three-phase reactors from a first principles fluid mechanical study cumbersome if not impossible.

Chemical Engineering

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