The impact of the combined evaporation of the liquid phase and reaction on single catalyst pellet performance has been studied experimentally. The exothermic, catalyzed hydrogenation of α-methylstyrene (AMS) to cumene has been employed as a model reaction. Steady state and dynamic experiments have been performed in a single catalytic pellet reactor using five catalytic pellets of different porous structures, thermal conductivity, apparent catalytic activity and distribution of catalyst in the pellet. Gas-phase temperature, concentration of AMS in the gas phase and the liquid flow rates have been varied. The measured center and surface temperatures of each pellet reveal the existence of two significantly different steady states in the range of liquid flow rate. The range of the liquid flow rate over which the two steady states were observed, the pellet temperature and the pellet dynamics depend strongly on the amount of AMS vapor in the gas phase and the catalyst properties. The obtained experimental data are helpful to elucidate the mechanism of hot-spot formation and runaway in multiphase fixed-bed reactors.
- Exothermic reaction