Safe design and operation of fluidized-bed reactors: Choice between reactor models

E.J. Westerink, K.R. Westerterp

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    For three different catalytic fluidized bed reactor models, two models presented by Werther and a model presented by van Deemter, the region of safe and unique operation for a chosen reaction system was investigated. Three reaction systems were used: the oxidation of benzene to maleic anhydride, the oxidation of naphthalene to phthalic anhydride, and the oxidation of ethylene to ethylene oxide. Predictions of the optimal yield, the operating temperature and the conversion were also subjects of our study. It appeared that for reactions carried out in a fluidized bed operating under conditions of good fluidization all models predicted the same region of safe and unique operation. For a well-designed fluidized bed only the constraint of uniqueness is affected by the reactor model chosen. Predictions of the yield, conversion and operating temperature appeared to fit slightly less well. But still a good indication can be obtained from any of the models since the deviation in the results was less then a few percent for all three reaction systems. The strongest deviations between the models occurs in the region of gas loads only slightly higher than the minimum fluidization velocity. As the heat transfer characteristics are bad at low gas loads this region is unsuitable for highly exothermic reactions where large amounts of heat have to be removed by the coolant. In the region of good heat transfer with gas loads at least several times higher than the minimum the three models predict the same results. For this reason we finally recommed the use of simple models.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)333-354
    JournalChemical engineering science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1990


    • IR-72823

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