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Hydrodynamic effects on three phase micro-packed bed reactor performance – Gold–palladium catalysed benzyl alcohol oxidation

Al-Rifai, Noor, Galvanin, Federico, Morad, Moataz, Cao, Enhong, Cattaneo, Stefano, Meenakshisundaram, Sankar ORCID:, Dua, Vivek, Hutchings, Graham John ORCID: and Gavriilidis, Asterios 2016. Hydrodynamic effects on three phase micro-packed bed reactor performance – Gold–palladium catalysed benzyl alcohol oxidation. Chemical Engineering Science 149 , pp. 129-142. 10.1016/j.ces.2016.03.018

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The hydrodynamics of a three-phase micro-packed bed reactor and its effect on catalysed benzyl alcohol oxidation with pure oxygen were studied in a silicon–glass microstructured reactor. The microreactor was operated at 120 °C and 1 barg and contained a channel with a 300 μm×600 μm cross-section, packed with 1 wt% Au–Pd/TiO2 catalyst, 65 μm in average diameter. Improvements in the conversion of benzyl alcohol and selectivity to benzaldehyde were observed with increasing gas-to-liquid ratio, which coincided with a change in the flow pattern from a liquid-dominated slug to a gas-continuous flow regime. The observed enhancement is attributed to improved external mass transfer, associated with an increase in the gas–liquid interfacial area and reduction in the liquid film thickness that occur with gradual changes in the flow pattern. A maximum selectivity of 93% to benzaldehyde was obtained under partial wetting – which introduced the added benefit of direct gas–solid mass transfer – outperforming the selectivity in a conventional glass stirred reactor. However, this was at the expense of a reduction in the conversion. A response surface model was developed and then used to predict optimal operating conditions for maximum benzaldehyde yield, which were in the gas-continuous flow regime. This corresponded to relatively high gas flow rate in conjunction with moderate liquid flow rate, ensuring sufficient catalyst wetting with a thin film to reduce transport resistances

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI)
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Additional Information: Open Access funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Under a Creative Commons license
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0009-2509
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 May 2016
Date of Acceptance: 12 March 2016
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 11:41

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