Scale-up strategies of jet loop reactors for the intensification of mass transfer limited reactions
For the purpose of the intensification of an industrial-scale gas-liquid process, the implementation in an alternative reactor concept is investigated at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) in cooperation with Ehrfeld Mikrotechnik GmbH. Existing process operation data from a bubble column hint at a mass transfer limitation of the gas-liquid reaction. In the project, a jet loop reactor (JLR) is chosen to increase the specific interfacial area between gas and liquid, and thus increase mass transfer, while keeping the reactor system mechanically simple and low-maintenance. For the investigation, a laboratory scale reactor has been designed on the basis of an existing industrial scale process and scaled according to a pilot scale reactor available at TUHH. For scaling, geometric similarity is desired, while specific energy dissipation rate and volumetric gas input are kept constant for the chosen scale-up strategy. Between the two different scales, the reactors are successfully characterised in a water-air system with regards to the important mass transfer, among other parameters. A pressure- and chemical-resistant twin of the laboratory-scale reactor is provided to the project partner for trials under real process conditions with the original material system. The presented work shows that the JLR concept can be transferred sufficiently well between different scales when suitable parameters are chosen, and offers a wide operating window. The investigations aim to provide a basis for a future scale-up of the chemical process in the JLR system to the industrial scale.
Ehrfeld Mikrotechnik GmbH