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Nonisothertmal Design of Fluid Segments for Precise Temperature Control in Microreactors

Nobuaki Aoki and Kazuhiro Mae. Department of Chemical Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyotodaigaku-Katsura, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Mixing in microreactors is mainly driven by molecular diffusion. Reduction of diffusion length is required for fast mixing in microreactors. To reduce diffusion length, reactant fluids are split into many laminated fluid segments at the mixer section. The interdigital mixer [1] is an example of the micromixers using this mixing principle. We have investigated the design factors of fluid segment such as arrangement and shape under the isothermal condition [2,3]. Precise temperature control is also an advantage of microreactors because of high surface-to-volume ratios due to small dimensions and an essential issue for a high yield and selectivity of a desired product [4]. To leverage this advantage, a proper design of fluid segment is needed from the viewpoint of temperature control as well as mixing performance. Thus, we extend the previous study by including effects of heat generation by reactions and heat removal from walls and studied effects of the sizes of fluid segment having rectangular cross section on product yield and temperature profile in microreactors using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Using simulation results, we discuss design of fluid segments for presice control of temperature and product compositions.

[1] Ehrfeld, W., K. Golbig, V. Hessel, H. Lowe and T. Richter, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 38, 1075-1082 (1999).

[2] Aoki, N., S. Hasebe and K. Mae, Chem. Eng. J., 101, 323-331 (2004).

[3] Aoki, N., S. Hasebe and K. Mae, AIChE J., 52, 1502-1515 (2006).

[4] Jensen, K. F., Chem. Eng. J., 56, 293-303 (2001).