Commercial multiphase CFD codes are to-day routinely used to design and improve the operation of gas-solid fluidized bed reactors, such as the catalytic crackers. However, the design of gas-liquid-solid reactors, such as the Fischer-Tropsch slurry bubble column reactor (L. Sehabiague, et al, J. Chinese Inst. ChE 39,169-179, 2008), with a a few exceptions (O.Ogunsala and I. Gamwo, Ultraclean Transportation Fuels, ACS Symposium Series 959, 2007) still relies on empirically measured hold-up correlations. Since these measurements are usually done at conditions far removed from actual reactor operation, the design of such reactors are inaccurate. This poor design leads to excessively expensive reactors (P. L. Spath and D.C.Dayton, NREL/TP-510-34929, Dec 2003). We have recently shown (D. Gidaspow et al, A New Slurry Bubble Column Reactor for Diesel Fuel, 2015 Midwest Conference) that a much less expensive F.- T. reactor can be designed to convert the shale gas that we are flaring in North Dakota into Diesel fuel.
We are using our multiphase CFD code (D. Gidaspow and V. Jiradilok, Computational Techniques, Nova Science, 2009) to compute gas-liquid-solid volume fractions for various reactor designs to achieve an economical method of converting the huge quantities of shale gas (C& EN 92,10-15,2014) we are flaring into clean transportation fuels.