Header design for flow equalization in microstructured reactors

Authors

  • Evgeny V. Rebrov,

    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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  • Ilyas Z. Ismagilov,

    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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    • I. Z. Ismagilov is also affiliated with the Laboratory of Environmental Catalysis, Boreskov Institute of Catalysis SB RAS, Prospekt Akademika Lavrentieva, 5, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia

  • Rahul P. Ekatpure,

    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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  • Mart H.J.M. de Croon,

    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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  • Jaap C. Schouten

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    • Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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Abstract

To enhance the uniformity of fluid flow distribution in microreactors, a header configuration consisting of a cone diffuser connected to a thick-walled screen has been proposed. The thick-walled screen consists of two sections: the upstream section constitutes a set of elongated parallel upstream channels and the downstream section constitutes a set of elongated parallel downstream channels positioned at an angle of 90° with respect to the upstream channels. In this approach the problem of flow equalization reduces to that of flow equalization in the first and second downstream channels of the thick-walled screen. In turn, this requires flow equalization in the corresponding cross sections of the upstream channels. The computational fluid dynamics analysis of the fluid flow maldistribution shows that eight parallel upstream channels with a width of 300–600 μm are required per 1 cm of length for flow equalization. The length to width ratio of these channels has to be >15. The numerical results suggest that the proposed header configuration can effectively improve the performance of the downstream microstructured devices, decreasing the ratio of the maximum flow velocity to the mean flow velocity from 2 to 1.005 for a wide range of Reynolds numbers (0.5–10). © 2006 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2007

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