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Récents Progrès en Génie des Procédés, Numéro 94 - 2007 ISBN 2-910239-68-3, Ed. SFGP, Paris, France

CFD Simulations of Multiphase GTL Reactor: Spinning Disc Reactor

ABSTRACT

TEJAS Bhatelia, VISHNU Pareek and MOSES Tadé Department of Chemical Engineering1

Curtin University of Technology

GPO Box 6845

Perth, Western Australia

m.o.tade@curtin.edu.au

In this paper, hydrodynamics of a multiphase spinning disc reactor has been studied using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. The objective of this study is to understand and develop a compact spinning disc reactor with good mass transfer characteristics for multiphase gas to liquid applications such as Fischer Tropsch (FT). Reaction kinetics suggests that to achieve a high mass transfer rate, the goal is to have good gas distribution throughout the reactor with a large interfacial surface area between gas phase and the liquid hydrocarbon media (Krishna et al., 1995). Furthermore, FT reactions are highly exothermic and the major contributor towards the weight of the reactor is the cooling coils. A continuously operated spinning disc reactor can provide several advantages over conventional multiphase reactor with reduced reactor volumes.

KEYWORDS: Process Intensification; Spinning Disc Reactor; Multiphase; CFD 1. INTRODUCTION

The spinning disc technology uses the centrifugal accelerations to create thin highly sheared films on rotating surfaces (see Figure.1). Various studies carried out have indicated that the fluid dynamics within these films result in significant enhancement in mass transfer rates (Jachuck and Ramshaw 1994; Bodhoo and Jachuck 2000). It is therefore expected that a reactor based on this technology should allow rapid mixing in the liquid film, short liquid residence time, and rapid and rapid liquid/vapour heat/mass transfer. This makes spinning disc reactors strong contenders for performing fast exothermic reactions and reactions which are limited by mass transfer rates. A typical example for the mass transfer limited reaction is the Fischer Tropsch reaction. Also spinning disc reactors operate in a continuous mode and markedly reduce the inventory of hazardous chemicals, they could play an important role in improving the intrinsic safety of the plant.

Shaft Gas Inlet

Disc

Liquid Outlet

Figure 1. Schematic of a Spinning Disc Reactor.

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