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Regime mapping and the role of the intermediate region in wall-coated microreactors

Lopes, J.P. and Alves, M.A. and Oliveira, Monica and Cardoso, S.S.S. and Rodrigues, A.E. (2013) Regime mapping and the role of the intermediate region in wall-coated microreactors. Chemical Engineering Science, 94. pp. 166-184. ISSN 0009-2509

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Abstract

Operation of a wall-coated microreactor can occur in several mass transfer-reaction regimes. We define these regimes analytically in several planes of a multi-parametric map, taking into account the different degrees of concentration profile development, as well as the influence of non-unity orders of reaction and reactant inhibition in the kinetic law. It was found that the regions where conversion can be calculated from simplified mass transfer models are not discriminated by common results for entrance-length. We also illustrate the trade-offs that exist across this operating map concerning the catalyst design (costs associated with loading and volume) and overall system performance (evaluated in terms of reactant conversion, flow efficiency and microreactor effectiveness). It is shown that under certain conditions, the existence of moderate mass transfer resistance can be advantageous (even if internal limitations cannot be avoided), clarifying the role of the intermediate transport-reaction region.