Compact Heat Exchange Reactors for Process Intensification

Friday, October 21, 2011: 9:50 AM
Marquette VII (Hilton Minneapolis)
Zhijun Jia, Steven J. Vallee and Hani Gadalla, Chart Energy & Chemicals, La Crosse, WI


               Many chemical processes are operating in reactors that are a compromise between productivity and control of the reaction. Consequently the reaction rate can be limited by the mixing or heat transfer capability of the reactor, rather than the actual reaction kinetics. This compromise results in equipment that is larger than it needs to be and decreased operating efficiency.

               Chart’s Compact Heat Exchange Reactor (CHER) combines a heat exchanger and reactor into a single device which are used to improve chemical processes using the philosophy of Process Intensification (PI). The role of mixing and heat transfer in controlling chemical reactions will be presented, as well as techniques used for identifying when compact heat exchange reactors can be applied to chemical processes, along with examples of potential and actual applications and includes case studies of their use in the fine chemicals, pharmaceutical, and fuel processing fields. In many applications, the processing rate achieved was many times higher than that anticipated.

               Chart Energy & Chemicals manufactures compact heat exchangers and chemical reactors that are used for PI using either aluminum or stainless steel or special metals. Chart has been manufacturing compact brazed aluminum plate-fin heat exchangers for over 50 years, with these being used as chemical reactors as early as 1979, known as FinTec® reactor. Over the last 15 years a shim-based, diffusion bonded heat exchanger and reactor, known as ShimTec®, has been developed and widely applied.

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See more of this Session: Advances in Process Intensification and Integration
See more of this Group/Topical: Process Development Division