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Modeling hydrogen spillover in dual-bed catalytic reactors



A semiquantitative model was developed to describe hydrogen spillover in dual-bed catalytic reactors. In previous studies it has been conclusively demonstrated that hydrogen can diffuse macroscopic distances and activate catalytic sites. The test reaction in those studies was the isomerization of 1-butene to 2-butene. The model is derived based on the fundamental principles of transport phenomena and reaction kinetics. Because many of the required values in the model are unknown, it cannot be solved quantitatively. Thus, a parametric analysis was conducted. The model successfully predicts trends observed experimentally. Specifically, the activity increases nonlinearly as the bed composition changes, the selectivity was low for all dual-bed reactors, and the selectivity was high for well-mixed catalyst beds. © 2004 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 50: 821–828, 2004