University of Cambridge > > Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Departmental Seminars > Smart reactors in the chemical industry: structured reactors in general and monolithic reactors in particular

Smart reactors in the chemical industry: structured reactors in general and monolithic reactors in particular

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Process Engineering Seminar Series at CEB

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Time: 11 am (GMT, UK time), 8 Feb 2021 We would like to welcome you in Zoom Meeting ID: 835 8154 5759 Passcode: 527023


Both the catalyst and the reactor should be close to perfect. Although popular for good reasons (high catalyst loading, convenient, low cost) random packed beds do not fulfil this requirement. Structured catalysts and reactors offer high precision in catalysis, from the scale of the catalyst species up to the scale of the reactor. Monoliths are the prime example because of their high popularity in several high-profile applications.

As a rule, the flow in monoliths is laminar, and, as a consequence, they are associated with high efficiency and reduced chaotic characteristics. Under most conditions, in multiphase systems Taylor flow (segmented flow) prevails, associated with high rates of mass transfer notwithstanding low energy consumption, but under other conditions the film flow regime can be realized either in cocurrent or countercurrent flow of gas and liquid streams.

Monoliths offer freedom of design of reactor configurations. Examples are loop reactors for strong exo- and endothermal reactions, rotating monoliths for air conditioning and monoliths with fast radial mass transport suitable for highly endo/exothermal gas phase reactions.

In applications in which high gas flows have to be accommodated, structured reactors are the state-of-the-art reactor bodies in many cases, exemplified by automobile exhaust abatement monolithic reactors.

Applications in liquid-phase and gas-liquid-phases processes in structured reactors are scarce, but they are applied in commercial production processes. Well-known applications are in the the reduction step in the production of hydrogen peroxide, in several plants based on catalytic distillation and, last but not least, in (challenging) production processes in fine chemistry.

Biography: Jacob A. Moulijn (Google Scholar) is an Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Delft University of Technology (1990-2007) and at the University of Amsterdam (1986-1990). He was a well-recognised visiting professor at several universities in USA , UK, China, Belgium, Singapore and India. He was active in China for the United Nations – World Bank. Back to 1972, he received his PhD on adsorption and diffusion phenomena in porous materials and packed beds from University of Amsterdam. His research interests include catalysis engineering, catalytic reactors, zeolitic membranes, kinetics, mass transfer, multiphase monolithic reactors, catalyst testing, petroleum conversion (Hydroteating, FCC , Fischer-Tropsch), exhaust gas catalysis (soot from diesel engines, N2O removal, NO abatement, H2S removal, CFC conversion), selective hydrogenation, selective oxidation, photo- and electrocatalysis. He is a (co-) author of over 750 technical papers, co-author of two books, editor of seven books, holder of several patents (reactor design, zeolitic membranes, catalyst development). In addition, he is a consultant in the field of biomass conversion and a co-founder of a start-up – Delft IMP .

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