Modeling of three-phase continuously operating open-cell foam catalyst
packings: sugar hydrogenation to sugar alcohols
An advanced comprehensive and transient multiphase model for a trickle
bed reactor with solid foam packings was developed. A new simulation
model for isothermal three-phase (gas–liquid–solid) catalytic tubular
reactor models was presented where axial, radial and catalyst layer
effects were included. The gas, liquid and solid phase mass balances
included most of the individual terms for solid foam packing (e.g.
kinetics, liquid-solid and intraparticle mass transfer effects).
Hydrogenation of arabinose and galactose mixture on a ruthenium catalyst
supported by carbon-coated aluminum foams was applied as a fundamentally
and industrially relevant case study. Parameter estimations allowed to
obtain reliable and significant parameters. To test the model
performance, a sensitivity analysis was performed and the effect of the
kinetic parameters and the operation conditions on the arabinose and
galactose conversions was studied in detail. The model described here is
applicable for other three-phase continuous catalytic reactors with
solid foam packings.