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Catalytic Fixed-Bed Reactors

  1. Gerhart Eigenberger1,
  2. Wilhelm Ruppel2

Published Online: 15 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/14356007.b04_199.pub2

Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry

Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry

How to Cite

Eigenberger, G. and Ruppel, W. 2012. Catalytic Fixed-Bed Reactors. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Institut für Chemische Verfahrenstechnik, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

  2. 2

    Retired from BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2012

Chemistry Terms

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The article contains sections titled:

1.Fixed-Bed Reactors with Gas-Phase Reactions
1.2.Catalyst Forms for Fixed-Bed Reactors
1.2.1.Fluid Flow, Mass and Heat Transfer, and Chemical Reaction in Catalyst-Filled Tubes
1.2.2.Regular Catalyst Structures
1.2.3.Comparison and Evaluation of Different Catalyst Forms
1.3.Adiabatic Fixed-Bed Reactors
1.3.1.Axial and Radial Flow Reactors
1.3.2.Multistage Reactors with Interstage Heat Transfer
1.4.Fixed-Bed Reactors with Integrated Heat Exchange
1.4.1.Heat-Exchange Concepts
1.4.2.Heat-Transfer Media for Fixed-Bed Reactors
1.4.3.Cooled Reactors for Exothermic Reactions
1.4.4.Heated Reactors for Endothermic Reactions
1.4.5.Influencing the Course of Reaction
1.5.Heat-Integrated Reactor Concepts
1.5.1.Autothermal Reactors with External and Internal Heat Exchange
1.5.2.Heat-Integrated Reactors for Coupling of Endo- and Exothermic Reactions
1.6.Operational and Safety Issues
1.6.1.Parametric Sensitivity and Runaway
1.6.2.Moving Temperature and Reaction Fronts
1.6.3.Other Safety Aspects
1.7.Periodic Operation of Fixed-Bed Reactors
1.7.1.Fixed-Bed Reactors with Periodic Flow Reversal and Exothermic Reaction
1.7.2.Fixed-Bed Reactors with Periodic Flow Reversal for Coupled Exo- and Endothermic Reactions
1.7.3.Periodic Feed Cycling
2.Fixed-Bed Reactors for Liquid-Phase Reactions
2.2.Fixed-Bed Catalyzed Liquid-Phase Reactions
2.3.Upward Liquid Flow through Fixed Beds
2.4.Reactor Layout and Operation
2.4.1.Safety Issues
2.4.2.Example: Amination of Alcohols

Catalytic fixed-bed reactors are the most important type of reactors for the synthesis of large-scale basic chemicals and intermediates and for the treatment of harmful and toxic substances in the gas or the liquid phase. In these reactors the solid catalyst in the form of pellets or regular structures is arranged as a so-called fixed bed. In this article fixed-bed reactors with homogeneous (single-phase) gas or liquid flow are considered. It is a revision of the first version of 1992 and an updated extension of a version published in the Handbook of Heterogeneous Catalysis [53]. Since in the vast majority of cases catalytic fixed-bed reactors are used for gas-phase reactions, such reactors are treated in detail in Chapter 1. In Chapter 2 the main differences and peculiarities when fixed-bed reactors are used for liquid-phase reactions are mentioned. Fixed-bed reactors with multiphase gas–liquid or gas–liquid–solid flow are treated in [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] Three-Phase Trickle-Bed Reactors.