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Keywords:

  • flow distribution;
  • microreactor;
  • numbering-up;
  • fabrication tolerance;
  • hydraulic resistance network

Abstract

The barrier-based distributor is a multiphase flow distributor for a multichannel microreactor which assures flow uniformity and prevents channeling between the two phases. For N number of reaction channels, the barrier-based distributor consists of a gas manifold, a liquid manifold, N barrier channels for the gas, N barrier channels for the liquid, and N mixers for mixing the phases before the reaction channels. The flow distribution is studied numerically using a method based on the hydraulic resistive networks (RN). The single phase hydraulic RN model (Commenge et al., 2002;48:345–358) is extended for two phases gas-liquid Taylor flow. For ReGL <30, the accuracy for the model was above 90%. The developed-model was used to study the effects of fabrication tolerance and barrier channel dimensions. A design methodology has been proposed as an algorithm to determine the required hydraulic resistance in the barrier channels and their dimensions. This methodology is demonstrated using a numerical example. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2012