The effects of modes of hydrogen input and reactor configuration on reaction rate and H2 efficiency in the catalytic hydrogenation of alkynol to alkenol

Francisca Navarro-Fuentes, Mark Keane, Xiong-Wei Ni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Hydrogenation often involves three phases where hydrogen-on-demand is the typical mode of operation in industrial scale reactors. In research labs and publications, however, continuous hydrogen flow has been used. This paper investigates the effect of such modes of operation on reaction rate using a selective hydrogenation of 3-butyn-2-ol over Pd/Al2O3 to obtain 3-buten-2-ol as the model reaction. The two modes of operation were first tested in a commercial PARR stirred tank reactor and then repeated in an oscillatory baffled reactor (OBR) in order to validate the experimental results. Our investigation demonstrates that an enhanced reaction performance and 10 times better H2 efficiency were obtained when the pressure was maintained constant during the reaction by feeding gas as required, ie hydrogen-on-demand mode. The method of a continuous flow of hydrogen in hydrogenation means that excess hydrogen is vented out when operating at ambient pressures or builds up at elevated pressures. Our work also enables a comparison of reactor designs on reactor performance, and three times higher H2 efficiency and 2.3 times shorter residence time were achieved when using the OBR instead of the PARR due to its enhanced and uniform mixing, regardless of the mode of operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-315
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume98
Issue number1
Early online date30 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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Hydrogenation
Reaction rates
Hydrogen
Gases

Keywords

  • hydrogen-on-demand
  • hydrogenation
  • oscillatory baffled reactor
  • stirrer tank reactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)

Cite this

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AB - Hydrogenation often involves three phases where hydrogen-on-demand is the typical mode of operation in industrial scale reactors. In research labs and publications, however, continuous hydrogen flow has been used. This paper investigates the effect of such modes of operation on reaction rate using a selective hydrogenation of 3-butyn-2-ol over Pd/Al2O3 to obtain 3-buten-2-ol as the model reaction. The two modes of operation were first tested in a commercial PARR stirred tank reactor and then repeated in an oscillatory baffled reactor (OBR) in order to validate the experimental results. Our investigation demonstrates that an enhanced reaction performance and 10 times better H2 efficiency were obtained when the pressure was maintained constant during the reaction by feeding gas as required, ie hydrogen-on-demand mode. The method of a continuous flow of hydrogen in hydrogenation means that excess hydrogen is vented out when operating at ambient pressures or builds up at elevated pressures. Our work also enables a comparison of reactor designs on reactor performance, and three times higher H2 efficiency and 2.3 times shorter residence time were achieved when using the OBR instead of the PARR due to its enhanced and uniform mixing, regardless of the mode of operation.

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