Tubular reactor design for the oxidative dehydrogenation of butene using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling
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Catalytic reactors have been essential for chemical engineering process, and different designs of reactors in multi-scales have been previously studied. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) utilized in reactor designs have been gaining interest due to its cost-effective advantage in designing the actual reactors before its construction. In this work, butadiene synthesis via oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of n-butene using tubular reactor was used as a case study in the CFD model. The effects of coolant and reactor diameter were investigated in assessing the reactor performance. Based on the results of the CFD model, the conversion and selectivity were 86.5% and 59.5% respectively in a fixed bed reactor under adiabatic condition. When coolants were used in a tubular reactor, reactor temperature profiles showed that solar salt had lower temperature gradients inside the reactor than the cooling water. Furthermore, higher conversion (90.9%) and selectivity (90.5%) were observed for solar salt as compared to the cooling water (88.4% for conversion and 86.3% for selectivity). Meanwhile, reducing the reactor diameter resulted in smaller temperature gradients with higher conversion and selectivity.
KeywordsCatalysis Computer Modelling Heat Transfer Kinetics Reactor Design
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