Modeling the Start-up Phase of Fischer Tropsch Synthesis In a Fixed Bed Reactor: Strategizing the Optimum Operation

Tuesday, October 18, 2011: 1:30 PM
200 H (Minneapolis Convention Center)
Syed Ali Gardezi, Chemical Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, Babu Joseph, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Clean Energy Research Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL and John T. Wolan, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

To date, very little work has been done to model Fischer Tropsch Synthesis startup. In this study, finite difference approximation is used to model the intra-pellet reaction and heat transport. Finite element analysis was used to model the catalyst inter-pellet heat and mass transport. Vapor-liquid equilibrium was assumed to be attained at each pore, fugacity coefficients were used to develop a quantitative correlation. The goal was to estimate the time required to fill the catalyst pores. This time represents the unsteady transient phase which requires fine temperature control to avoid reaction run away in an actual working packed bed reactor.

In the resulting kinetic model, coupled material and energy balance are used to assess the optimum reactor startup procedures. Another goal is to identify the impact of different types of inert packing used to control heat transfer and conversion in the fixed bed reactor with a view towards avoiding the hot spots and steep temperature gradients. The combined effect of heat transfer and kinetics present a challenging problem for both the bed design and for optimal startup procedure.

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See more of this Session: Modeling and Analysis of Chemical Reactors
See more of this Group/Topical: Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division