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Keywords:

  • endothermic reaction;
  • jiggled bed reactor;
  • fluidization;
  • pneumatic actuator;
  • induction heating

The jiggled bed reactor (JBR) is a state-of-the-art batch fluidized microreactor designed and developed to test catalysts for endothermic reactions. The solid particles in the microreactor are mechanically fluidized by agitating the reactor using a linear pneumatic actuator. An external induction field heats up vertical metal wires installed inside the reactor bed to generate heat rapidly and uniformly within the bed of solid particles, while eliminating hot spots and large temperature gradients. Image and signal processing techniques were utilized to investigate how the fluidization dynamics of the solid particles are affected by the amplitude and frequency of the vibrations, and the size distribution and the mass of the particles. The results show that the microreactor is very flexible: operating conditions can be optimized to successfully fluidize any type of catalyst. Heat-transfer coefficients between heating surfaces and the bed are similar to the coefficients that could be obtained in a well-bubbling fluidized bed. This confirms the excellent quality of the fluidization achieved with the new JBR. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 3107–3122, 2014