(228a) Teaching the Need to Account for Mixing in the Design of Tubular Reactors as Recommended by Stuart Churchill

Authors: 
Seider, W. D. - Presenter, The University of Pennsylvania
Over many years, Stuart Churchill was critical of the plug flow assumption often used when designing tubular reactors1. For this reason, we added Chapter 15 on Chemical Reactor Design, in Seider et al.2 In this chapter, the assumptions of perfect radial mixing with no wall drag are shown to yield high reactor conversions. Computational fluid dynamics, using COMSOL, is introduced to account properly for radial diffusion and recirculation in helical and lemniscate tubular reactors, increasing the degree of mixing comparable to the plug flow assumption in straight-tube reactors. In a homework exercise, confined jet mixing is used to show comparable mixing effects in the entrance of a confined-jet tubular reactor3.

1. Slominski, C. G., W. D. Seider, S. W. Churchill, and J. D. Seader, “Helical and Lemniscate Tubular Reactors,” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 50, 8,842-8, 850 (2011)

2. Seider, W. D., D. R. Lewin, J. D. Seader, S. Widagdo, R. Gani, and K. M. Ng, Product and Process Design Principles: Synthesis, Analysis, and Evaluation,” 4th Ed., Wiley, 2017.

3. Seider, W. D., and S. W. Churchill, “Confined Jet Mixing in the Entrance of a Tubular Reactor, AIChE J., 17, 3, 704-712 (1971).

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