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3D Flow Reactors: Flow, Hydrodynamics, and Performance

Sharma, Mrityunjay, Reddy S., Venkateswara, Kulkarni, Amol A.
Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2014 v.53 no.5 pp. 1916-1923
benzaldehyde, chemistry, engineering, geometry, heat production, hydrodynamics, mass transfer, nitric acid
A device comprised of a sequence of converging or diverging units aligned either in an axisymmetric or nonaxisymmetric manner can be used as a continuous flow reactor. Here we report the analysis of flow and hydrodynamics (pressure drop, residence time distribution, and mass transfer) for an axisymmetric geometry of a 3D flow reactor for single phase and two-phase flows. CFD simulations of the single phase flow have been used for identification of the precise geometrical configuration. The sequence of converging units as a flow reactor has been found to always be better than the sequence of diverging units. The residence time distribution analysis also favored the choice of converging flow as a better option. The performance of the device was verified by successfully carrying out a highly exothermic two-phase aromatic nitration of benzaldehyde (ΔHᵣ ≈ −172 kJ/mol) with fuming nitric acid.