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Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering

Print version ISSN 0104-6632


SILVA, J. D.  and  ABREU, C. A. M.. Mathematical modeling of a three-phase trickle bed reactor. Braz. J. Chem. Eng. [online]. 2012, vol.29, n.3, pp.567-576. ISSN 0104-6632.

The transient behavior in a three-phase trickle bed reactor system (N2/H2O-KCl/activated carbon, 298 K, 1.01 bar) was evaluated using a dynamic tracer method. The system operated with liquid and gas phases flowing downward with constant gas flow QG = 2.50 x 10-6 m3 s-1 and the liquid phase flow (QL) varying in the range from 4.25x10-6 m3 s-1 to 0.50x10-6 m3 s-1. The evolution of the KCl concentration in the aqueous liquid phase was measured at the outlet of the reactor in response to the concentration increase at reactor inlet. A mathematical model was formulated and the solutions of the equations fitted to the measured tracer concentrations. The order of magnitude of the axial dispersion, liquid-solid mass transfer and partial wetting efficiency coefficients were estimated based on a numerical optimization procedure where the initial values of these coefficients, obtained by empirical correlations, were modified by comparing experimental and calculated tracer concentrations. The final optimized values of the coefficients were calculated by the minimization of a quadratic objective function. Three correlations were proposed to estimate the parameters values under the conditions employed. By comparing experimental and predicted tracer concentration step evolutions under different operating conditions the model was validated.

Keywords : Trickle Bed; KCl Tracer; Modeling; Transient; Validation.

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