IONUT BANU, EMIL FLORIN TUTA, GRIGORE BOZGA MODELING AND SIMULATION OF A THREE PHASE FIXED BED CATALYTIC REACTOR FOR THE HYDROGENATION OF 2-ETHYL-HEXENAL
The aim of this work is the investigation, by modelling and simulation, of the liquid phase hydrogenation of 2-ethyl-2-hexenal to 2-ethyl-hexanol, over a modern Cu-Ni catalyst, in an industrial tri-phase trickle bed reactor. The chemical kinetics, hydrodynamic parameters and mass transfer coefficients were evaluated from published data. The mathematical model of the process takes into consideration intraparticle and interphase concentration gradients. The calculated temperature evolution along the catalytic reactor is in a good agreement with measured values from an industrial plant. The results indicate that critical kinetic step of the process is the hydrogen transfer toward the inner catalyst surface and that the process occurs close to gas-liquid equilibrium. The degree of catalyst pellet utilization, evaluated by internal effectiveness factors, is relatively low, being mainly dependent on rapid exhaust of dissolved hydrogen inside the catalyst pellet. The presented results could be useful in process analysis, optimization and control studies.