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Foam Reactor Is 10 Times More Energy Efficient

Date:
September 29, 2008
Source:
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Summary:
There is considerable worldwide demand for new types of reactors for the rapid and well- controlled production of high value chemicals. Now a new porous foam reactor has been developed, which has an energy efficiency ten times higher than traditional reactors at comparable production rates.

There is considerable worldwide demand for new types of reactors for the rapid and well- controlled production of high value chemicals. Charl Stemmet has developed the porous foam reactor, which has an energy efficiency ten times higher than traditional reactors at comparable production rates.

In this project, Charl Stemmet investigated a new, structured support for catalysts for use in gas-liquid reactors. He used a highly porous solid foam as the support material, having up to 97% open space available and a very large surface area per reactor volume. This large surface area is important for mass-transfer-limited, gas-liquid reactions; the larger the surface area, the greater the production per unit reactor volume.

Reactor design

To make a good reactor design with this new catalyst support, Stemmet first of all examined the flow behaviour of gas and liquid, and experimentally determined the design equations. He then compared the foam reactor with the current standard for gas-liquid reactions using a solid catalyst: a so-called packed bed of stacked catalyst particles.

The foam reactor has a volume 1.5 times larger than that of the packed bed for the same gas and liquid flows and the same production rate. However, the energy efficiency of the foam reactor is ten times higher than that of the packed bed.

The results will be used by the industrial partners in this project: BASF Nederland B.V. (formerly Engelhard) , DSM Research B.V., Ecoceramics B.V., Lummus Technology (formerly ABB Lummus Global Inc.), Recemat B.V. and Shell Global Solutions International B.V. The project was funded by Technology Foundation STW.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "Foam Reactor Is 10 Times More Energy Efficient." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080926100706.htm>.
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. (2008, September 29). Foam Reactor Is 10 Times More Energy Efficient. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080926100706.htm
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "Foam Reactor Is 10 Times More Energy Efficient." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080926100706.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

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