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Correlating gas-liquid distribution and effective liquid-solid mass transfer coefficient in tubular reactors with solid foam packings
Mohammed, I.; Bauer, T.; Schubert, M.; Lange, R.;
The performance of multiphase tubular reactors with co-current downward gas-liquid two-phase flow through catalyst packings is strongly affected by the quality of the gas-liquid distribution in the packing. Non-uniform liquid phase distributions in radial and axial direction cause partial catalyst surface wetting, lead to lower catalyst utilization in reduce the effective liquid-solid mass transfer to the catalyst surface [1].
In the recent years, solid foam catalyst packings were studied as promising replacements of randomly arranged catalyst particles [2]. In principle, the open-cell structure of the solid foams allows the liquid radial flow from one cell. However, the ability of solid foams to counterbalance liquid maldistribution and the liquid spreading behavior was not yet studies. The aim of this work is to investigate the cross-sectional liquid saturation distribution in a tubular column packed with solid foams and its effects on the liquid-solid mass transfer coefficient.
The axial evolution of the gas-liquid distribution patterns in solid foam packings of different pore densities has been experimentally studied using wire-mesh sensors installed at different axial heights. Both time-averaged cross-sectional liquid saturation patterns and liquid maldistribution factors were determined for different pre-wetting modes and distributor designs. In addition, effective liquid-solid mass transfer coefficients were determined based on a modified electrochemical limiting diffusion current method and correlated with the maldistribution.
The results indicate that a uniform initial distribution above the foam packing is the most important factor for a good wetting of the solid foam surface. Accordingly, a proper selection of an appropriate liquid distributor is essential for a successful application of catalytic active solid foams. To improve the homogeneity of the cross-sectional liquid saturation, the application of the Kan-Liquid pre-wetting procedure outperforms the Levec pre-wetting procedure most probably due to the transition from rivulet to film flow texture.
The electrochemical experiments revealed that low maldistribution favor the liquid-solid mass transfer. Furthermore, the results indicated decreasing effective liquid–solid mass transfer coefficients from upper to lower part of the tubular reactor, which can be related to the worsening liquid distribution.
The extended results on the liquid distribution and liquid-solid mass transfer will be shown at with the whole paper.
Keywords: Catalysis, Chemical reactor, Foam, Hydrodynamics, Mass transfer
  • Lecture (Conference)
    10th European Congress of Chemical Engineering, 27.09.-01.10.2015, Nice, France

Publ.-Id: 22870 - Permalink