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L 37: Multiphase Reactors

Prof. K.K.Pant Department of Chemical Engineering IIT Delhi.

Kinetic Factors
Overall or Apparent reaction rate (gas limiting)

rA= kg ai (CA(g-C Ai(g)/(1-) c = kl ai (CAi(g - C Ab )/(1-) c


kc ac (CAb CAs ) = k CAs CBs = bed void fraction


a = interfacial area/ vol. of bed i .,

Eliminate intermediate concentrations

Three-Phase Gas-Liquid Catalytic Reactor- Design Model (Trickle-Bed, Fixed-upflow Bubble-Bed, Bubble Slurry Bed, 3-Phase Fluidized Bed) Non-Volatile Liquid-phase mass balance:
2 d L, i DL, i C2 -UL dCL, i (K ac ) c (C i - CL,= i ) 0.0 S, i dz dz

Volatile Liquid-phase mass balance:

2 d L, i DL, i C2 -UL dCL, i + (K aL )( g dz dz i i -C Cg,( ) Ka L, )(C i c -C c = )i 0.0 L, i Hi S, i

-r = A

H H H A + A + A + k a k a k ac k ' C f Ag i Al i Ac A B s 1


First order rate constant for A

-r ' =k vgC A Ag

Mole balance for A


dF A =r' =-k C g vg A dW A
mol C B gcat.s

-r ' = B

1 1 + k c ap nKC AS

-r =k C B vl B

Mole balance for B

dF dC B =v B =-r' =k C dW 1 dW B vg B

Catalytic Fixed-Bed Reactor - Design Model

Mass Balance around the catalyst

(k ac )(C c i -C G )i =

(-Rnet )i

Gas-Phase component mass balance (Plug Flow model) -UG dCGi (k ac ) c (C i - C G ) = 0.0 S i dz Gas-Phase component mass balance (Dispersion model)
2 d DGi C2Gi -UG dCGi (k ac )(C c i -C G ) = 0.0 S i dz dz

Energy Model

UGGCpG dT = (RjHR j) +UA(T - Ta) dz

In kinetic models for trickle beds, the reaction is often assumed to be first order to both reactants For the ideal case of plug flow and completely wetted catalyst, the conversion for a first-order reaction is given by:

Calculation of Catalytic Effectiveness Factor

Catalytic Effectiveness Factor: = 1 (Coth3 - 1 ) 3 where - Thiele Modulus 1st order reaction rate: Spherical Pellet

= R k'Sa p / De 3

Cylindrical Pellet Slab Pellet

= R k'Sa p / De 2 = L k'Sa p / De

Three-phase Reactors- Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages TrickleBed Reactor Gas and liquid flow regimes approach plug flow; high conversion may be achieved. Large catalyst particle, therefore, catalyst separation is easy. Disadvantages Poor distribution of the liquid-phase Partial wetting of the catalyst High intra-particle resistance Low liquid holdup, therefore liquid Poor radial mixing homogenous reactions are minimized. Temperature control is difficult for highly exothermic Low pressure drop reactions Flooding problems are not encountered. High catalyst load per unit reactor volume. Low gas-liquid interaction decreases mass transfer coefficients.

Three -phase Reactors- Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages Disadvantages

Bubble High liquid holdup, Axial back mixing is Fixed- Bed therefore, catalyst are higher than trickleReactor completely wetted, better beds, conversion is temperature control, and no lower. channeling problems. Feasibility of liquid side homogeneous Gas-liquid mass transfer is higher than in Trickle bed reactions due to higher gas-liquid interaction. Pressure drop is high Flooding problems may occur.

Comparison of Three Phase Trickle- Bed and Bubble Fixed Bed Reactors

Comparison of Three Phase Suspended Bed Reactors


The selection of a good contactor depends on where the controlling resistance lies in the rate expression, the advantages of one contacting pattern over another, and the difference in auxiliary equipment needed.

The overall economics which accounts for these three factors

will determine which set up and reactor type is best.


The Rate:

We should favor the contactor which favors the weakest

step in the rate. For example, if the main resistance lies in the G/L film, use a contactor with large interfacial surface area.

if the resistance lies at the L/S boundary, use a large

exterior surface of solid, thus large fs, or small particles. if the resistance to pore diffusion intrudes, use tiny

particles. Boosting the weakest step in the rate by a proper choice of particle size, solid loading and reactor type can strongly affect the overall economics of the process. 15


Aqueous acetone (CB0, = 1000 mol/m3 1, vl = 10-4 m3 l /s) and hydrogen (1 atm, vg = 0.04 m3 g /s, HA = 36845 Pa.m3 l / mol) are fed to the bottom of a long, slender column (5-m high, 0.1-m2 cross section) packed with porous Raney nickel catalyst (dp, = 5 x 10-3m cat, ps = 4500 kg/m3 cat, fs = 0.6, De = 8 X 10-10 m2 / s based on vol of l /m of cat) and kept at 140C. At these conditions acetone is hydrogenated to propanol according to the reaction


What will be the conversion of acetone in this unit? Additional Data: The mass transfer rate constants are estimated to be the