Flow Field in a Shrinking-Bed Reactor for Pretreatment of Cellulosic Biomass

Part of the Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology book series (ABAB)


A shrinking-bed reactor was designed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to maintain a constant bulk packing density of cellulosic biomass. The high solid-to-liquid ratio in the pretreatment process allows a high sugar yield and avoids the need to flush large volumes of solution through the reactor. The shrinking-bed reactor is a promising pretreatment reactor with the potential for scale-up for commercial applications. To scale up the shrinking-bed reactor, it is necessary to understand the flow pattern in the reactor. In this study, flow field is simulated with computational fluid dynamics using a porous medium model. Different discrete “snapshots” and multiple steady states are utilized. The bulk flow pattern, velocity distribution, and pressure drop are determined from the simulation and can be used to guide reactor design and scale-up.

Index Entries

Shrinking-bed reactor computational fluid dynamics flow field cellulosic biomass hydrolysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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