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Notes

LABORATORY AND COMMERCIAL-SCALE CATALYTIC REACTORS

Designing and using laboratory-scale reactors for studying catalysts can be a very confusing process. Laboratory catalytic reactors are used for a variety of objectives including catalyst screening and evaluation, determination of reaction data, simulation of commercial process conditions, studies of catalyst pretreatments or aging, etc. Each of these objectives lends itself to a specific design of the reactor in order to achieve results which are meaningful. This Altamira Note discusses three common applications of laboratory-scale reactors and the suitability of various reactor types for these different research and development applications.
 

STEADY-STATE ISOTOPIC TRANSIENT KINETIC ANALYSIS (SSITKA

In the study of reactions on heterogeneous catalysts over the past 40 years, much use has been made of transient kinetic techniques in order to provide insight into surface reaction processes and mechanisms. These techniques have typically employed at reaction conditions the use of stopping/ starting the flow of one of the reactants or of pulsing the reactants. With the exception of experiments studying the exchange reaction between molecules at steady flow (1), it is difficult to extrapolate the results from these transient, non-steady-state studies to interpret the nature of surface reaction under steady-state conditions.

INTRODUCTION TO THE DESCRIPTIVE EQUATIONS FOR CHEMICAL REACTORS

There are 3 fundamental ideal types of reactors. Laboratory reactors are almost exclusively related to these ideal forms.  Larger reactors,  pilot-plant or commercial scale,  can be mathematically described usually by deviations from these ideal reactors. Additional complications to the descriptive or "design" equations are introduced by the presence of multiple phases.