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Abstract

Understanding the mechanism of liquid-phase evaporation in a three-phase fixed-bed reactor is of practical importance, because the reaction heat is usually 7–10 times the vaporization heat of the liquid components. Evaporation, especially the liquid dryout, can largely influence the reactor performance and even safety. To predict the vanishing condition of the liquid phase, Raoult's law was applied as a preliminary approach, with the liquid vanishing temperature defined based on a liquid flow rate of zero. While providing correct trends, Raoult's law exhibits some limitation in explaining the temperature profile in the reactor. To comprehensively understand the whole process of liquid evaporation, a set of experiments on inlet temperature, catalyst activity, liquid flow rate, gas flow rate, and operation pressure were carried out. A liquid-region length-predicting equation is suggested based on these experiments and the principle of heat balance.