An advanced comprehensive and transient multiphase model for a trickle bed reactor with solid foam packings was developed. A new simulation model for isothermal three-phase (gas–liquid–solid) catalytic tubular reactor models was presented where axial, radial, and catalyst layer effects were included. The unique feature of this model is that the material balances include most of the individual terms (i.e., internal diffusion, gas–liquid, and liquid solid mass transfer, kinetics) for solid foam packing which is seldom done. Hydrogenation of arabinose and galactose mixture on a ruthenium catalyst supported by carbon-coated aluminum foams was applied as a fundamentally and industrially relevant case study. Parameter estimations allowed to obtain reliable and significant parameters. The effect of the kinetic parameters and the operation conditions on the arabinose and galactose conversions was studied in detail by sensitivity analysis. The model described is applicable for other three-phase continuous catalytic reactors with solid foam packings.
- mass transfer
- open cell foam catalyst packing
- structured catalyst
- trickle bed reactor