(128a) DIFREX Reactor and Technology Solutions for Many Particle Types and Sizes in Catalytic and Non-Catalytic Systems

Gaurav, A., DIFREX LLC
Brenner, PhD, J., Florida Tech
Chemical reactors are the most vital elements of the chemical industry, contributing significantly to the total plant cost, efficiency of production, pollution control, number of separation steps needed downstream, and therefore to its ultimate profitability. At their heart are the catalyst particles they utilize. "Particle technology plays a critical role in various process industries, including chemical, petrochemical, petroleum, pharmaceutical, metallurgy, alternative energy, agriculture, food, advanced material, environmental, etc. and is inherent to design of different reactors for industrial processes. More than 80% of our gasoline, 70% of our polyolefin, and a plethora of other products are made using the fluidized bed reactor (FBR) technology. [1]" "In refinery operations, Fluidized-Bed Catalytic Cracking (FCC) is the most important and widely used refinery process for converting low value, heavy oils into more valuable gasoline and lighter products. [2]"

DIFREX LLC is a Florida-based team of process engineers, which provides reactor services and solutions to clients world-wide in areas such as design and consulting on existing/new reactor systems, certification/quick-check of third-party designs, experimental development and validation of proposed and recommended designs, debottlenecking/retrofit/revamp, and emergency response [3]. DIFREX also utilizes its own proprietary state-of-the-art software (including General Reactor Model GRM) with a comprehensive range of ready-to-use "design packs" and reactor modules for reactor and reaction modeling for a wide range of reactors, both with and without catalyst particles.

Full understanding and characterization of catalyst particles and their properties, plus how these affect the operation and performance of their reactor systems, is embodied in the DIFREX software, services and solutions. This includes catalyst particles of many shapes, sizes, etc., for many types of reactors, whether fixed bed of various configurations, fluidized systems (bubbling, turbulent, fast or circulating, entrained), etc. This presentation will describe the DIFREX system and its advances/advantages over prior generations of reactor design modes. It will include applications for these different types of catalyst particles and reactors. It will also feature successful industrial applications in multi-phase chemical reaction engineering and material processing, where particle technology fundamentals embodied in the software led to design, scale-up and improvement of reactors that proved instrumental in development of new technologies for processes for the clean production of energy, chemicals and advanced materials.


  1. Lee, S. and K. Henthorn, "Particle Technology and Applications", Green Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. 2017: CRC Press.
  2. Siemens, "Refining Industry Fluidized-Bed Catalytic Cracking Unit", Siemens Industry Inc.
  3. DIFREX LLC NEXGEN Reactor Design - Fast assured reactor technology solutions for development, design, optimization, troubleshooting and revamp of commercial reactors. [cited August 25, 2017]; available from: www.difrex.com


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