Modelling of the interaction of kinetics and external transport phenomena in structured catalysts: The effect of reaction kinetics, mass transfer and channel size distribution in solid foams

Tapio Salmi*, Vincenzo Russo, Adriana Freites Aguilera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The increasing use of structured reactors and catalysts, particularly solid open foams requires a new touch to the interaction of intrinsic chemical kinetics and mass transfer. In spite that the internal mass transfer resistance in the catalyst pores is efficiently suppressed because of thin washcoat layers on structured catalysts, the low flow velocities applied in many liquid-phase processes impair the mass transfer efficiency at the outer surface of the catalyst layer inside the channels of monoliths and open foams. The coupling of external mass transfer resistance and intrinsic kinetics was considered for various power-law and adsorption kinetics in tubular reactors filled with structural catalysts. The relevant mass balance equations were derived and solved numerically and the behaviors of single-channel systems were illustrated in the parameter spaces of Damköhler numbers. The single-channel model was successfully extended to a system of parallel channels with a distribution of channel sizes. The effect of the channel size distribution on the Reynolds and Sherwood numbers was illustrated by numerical simulations. The proposed approach is a potential tool for the design of structured catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116815
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Volume244
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Channel size distribution
  • Intrinsic kinetics
  • Mass transfer
  • Plug flow
  • Structured catalyst
  • Tubular reactor

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