SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

The monolith froth reactor, involving two-phase flow and a monolith catalyst, is developed. The flow within monolith channels, consisting of trains of gas bubbles and liquid slugs, is produced by forming a two-phase froth in a chamber immediately below the bottom of the monolith. The froth then flows upward into the monolith channels through pressure forces, which differs from previous methods since it may be carried out for a commercial-scale reactor. Because the liquid film which develops between the gas phase and the surface of the catalyst is extremely thin, two-phase flow within a monolith can provide reaction rates which are near their intrinsic values. Catalytic oxidation of aqueous phenol over copper oxide supported on γ-Al2O3 is used as a model reaction for investigating reactor performance. Generation of a froth is confirmed by visual inspection; the average bubble size is approximately that predicted by a force balance. The effect of externally controllable process variables (liquid and gas flow rates, temperature, and pressure) on the rate of phenol oxidation was investigated. Reaction rate increases with temperature or pressure increase and decreases with gas flow rate increase, achieving a maximum with respect to liquid flow rate. The activation energy calculated from the apparent reaction rate measured in the monolith froth reactor is similar to that of intrinsic value, suggesting minimal mass-transfer limitations.