A potential micro-industrial plant for on-chip catalytic hydrogenation of organic liquid

G. N. Doku*, W. Verboom, A. van den Berg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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A micro-industrial plant of a gas-liquid-solid micro-reaction system is designed and built (constructed), that employs a simple on-chip, single-line monolithic microreactor system constructed in silicon for the heterogeneous hydrogenation of organic liquids, coupled with an in-situ microbubble slug/annular regime generation. The integration of catalyst (Pd) on the channel walls is well described. The organic liquid (nitrobenzene in this case) was syringe-pumped as the main channel flow, whilst the hydrogen gas was introduced through a side pore. Using the nitrobenzene as organic liquid, a reactor channel of 200 µm width and a gas inlet channel of 5 µm width in this work, the gas inlet angle, the liquid in-flow velocity and gas in-flow rate were monitored to optimize the bubble slug (annular flow regime) generation. The 90 inlet channel was found to be the optimum angle for the creation of a thin liquid film on the channel wall. The operation of the system for the execution of reactions under pressure, and the system cleaning and system shut-down after experiments, and emergency shutdown procedures for safety purposes are presented. Nitrobenzene hydrogenation reaction yields as high as 93% were achieved with the microplant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Ghana Science Association
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2021


  • catalytic hydrogenation
  • Micro-industrial
  • nitrobenzene
  • on-microchip
  • organic liquids
  • plant


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