Thursday, October 20, 2011: 2:00 PM
101 D (Minneapolis Convention Center)
Temperature control is one of the most important issues when designing a catalytic tubular reactor since the hot spot caused by exothermic catalytic reaction affects conversion, selectivity and lifespan of solid catalysts. In this work, a computer-aided design method employing a heat exchanger design software and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis is developed for scale-up and optimization of a pilot-scale packed-bed tubular reactor using a single tube, where epichlorohydrin (ECH) is produced. Firstly, basic design parameters of a demonstration-scale reactor, such as the length and the number of packed-bed tubes, are defined by simulation results of the pilot-scale reactor model in order to achieve a target production rate. Secondly, the detailed geometry of the demonstration-scale reactor comprising multiple tubes is described using commercial heat exchanger design software. Finally, optimal operating conditions are designated to control the hot spot in the tubes of the reactor based on the results of CFD studies. The proposed method is applied to the design and operational planning of a demonstration-scale reactor producing 100 kg ECH/hr. Applications may be extended to various problems in scale-up and optimization of catalytic tubular reactors.