Heat Transfer And Pressure Drop Characteristics Of Intensified Tubular Glass Reactor

Arjun Gopal, Vivek Ranade


The construction of the tubular reactor is similar to a shell and tube heat exchanger, with a single tube with 73 passes. The tube side will be used for carrying out the reaction and the shell side is used for passing the coolant. The shell & tube geometry offer large surface area in combination with efficient heat transfer and compactness. The advantage of using glass as a material of construction is universal corrosion resistance. The specific surface area of the intensified reactor is 448 m2/m3. Large scale reactors used in industries have very low specific surface area leading to poor heat transfer characteristics. These kinds of mid-range reactors can handle better throughput than micro-reactors which offer surface areas more than 10000 m2/m3. The objective of my project was to determine the heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop for these mid-range tubular reactors and try to characterize the values of heat transfer and pressure drop by comparing the values with established correlations available in literature. For the shell side calculations, the Kern method [1] and Bell-Delaware method [2] were used for determining the pressure drop and heat transfer coefficient in the various regimes, to correlate with the experimental results. The tube side heat transfer coefficients were determined using the various correlations stated in [1] and [3] for different flow regimes. Two correlations namely, Sieder-tate and Gnielinski were used to calculate the process side film coefficients. The process side pressure drop was found using a manometer and the friction factors were compared with established correlations, such as cole-brook white [4]. Experimentally, the heat transfer coefficient is determined by the Wilson Plot method [5] by varying the tube side flow rates keeping shell side flow rate fixed for three different temperatures. The results of the experiments seemed logical and matched the established correlations in most cases. Future work in characterizing such reactors such as RTD has been proposed.


Heat transfer, Shell and tube heat exchanger, intensified reactors

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