Innovative Development Process for Optimal Foam Pellets as Catalyst Carriers for Fixed-bed Reactors

Fixed-bed reactors are a widely used reactor configuration for heterogeneous catalysis. Typically, ceramic catalyst pellets are randomly arranged to create the fixed-bed. In fact, it is challenging to satisfy the entire demands of large-scale production processes (e.g. methane reformation), with the currently used ceramic pellets. In recent years, open foam metallic structures have been identified as a beneficial alternative for conventional catalytic supports, due to its superior properties such as high porosity, good mechanical stability and higher thermal conductivity. The innovation of catalyst pellets from metallic foams is a process intensification strategy, as it supports the reduction of overall energy cost, with improved radial heat transfer and lower pressure drop.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques have been recognized as a powerful tool in assisting the design processes of chemical reactors. Recently, Prof. Wehinger (TU Clausthal) has developed a detailed CFD modelling approach for the study of fixed-bed reactors. The main goals of this project is to adapt these CFD techniques and to develop a virtual-automated CFD workflow for the study of foam pellets, which in-turn assists the design of optimal pellet shape for the defined reaction conditions. To validate CFD simulations, an adequate experimental setup has been realized at CUTEC Research Centre and the experiments will be monitored by Alantum Europe GmbH. By this approach, the development processes of novel metallic foam pellets can be accelerated and the time required to introduce it in the market can be reduced.

Ginu George, M. Sc.

Scientific Assistant

Phone: +49 5323 72-2336

Room 112, Leibnizstra├če 17
38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld