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Keywords:

  • slurry bubble column reactor;
  • Fischer-Tropsch synthesis;
  • iron;
  • single-event;
  • microkinetic modeling

Abstract

A single-event microkinetic model for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis including the water-gas shift reaction has been implemented in a one-dimensional, two-bubble class, heterogeneous model with axial effective diffusion to study the performance of a commercial slurry bubble column reactor. Mass balance equations are solved for every species in the reaction network in the large bubbles, small bubbles, and slurry phase, whereas the energy balance is applied to the slurry phase. The catalyst concentration profile is described by a sedimentation-dispersion model. The combination of microkinetics that generate net production rates for the individual reaction products and hydrodynamics allows describing detailed concentration profiles along the reactor axis as a function of operating conditions and design parameters. As example, the effects of catalyst loading, syngas feed flow rate, inlet temperature, or hydrogen to carbon monoxide inlet ratio on the individual hydrocarbons are investigated. To our knowledge, no reactor model in literature is able to describe detailed compositions at the level described by the reactor model developed in this work. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2009