Smart Structured Rotating Reactors
Start date: 01 Apr 2009,
End date: 31 Mar 2014
This ERC Grant proposal aims at internationally highly recognized scientific and technological breakthroughs in the understanding, design and operation of Smart Structured Rotating Reactors for the production of high-grade chemicals. Novel reactor types as the multiple spinning disks reactor and the rotating foam reactor will be developed. The use of smart designs of rotating structured (catalytic) packings in multiphase reactors will be an extremely innovative and exciting new research area in the chemical engineering sciences. It is my firm believe that technologically advanced, compact and highly efficient new reactor types will origin from the approach as outlined in this proposal. The research will also result in original, fundamental knowledge about the interaction of multiphase flows and physical transport processes in these rotating reaction and separation systems. The quiescent fluid flow in conventional reactors and separators does not permit full control of the transport processes involved. Consequently, product yield, separation efficiency, and energy consumption are not optimal. Conventional equipment is also mostly gravitation force driven, which further limits the operation window. New apparatus incorporate rotating motion which induces high shear in the flow and mimics high gravitation conditions through the centrifugal force. Heat and mass transport are optimally integrated with catalytic activity by using innovative structured (catalyst) packings and smart materials and designs. One example is the proposed rotating chemical plant in which functionalities as compression, mixing, heating, reaction, extraction, and distillation are integrated on interconnected sets of rotating disks. These new technologies provide highly promising perspectives for future green production plants. Chemicals processing will be more flexible using small-sized units and takes place just-in-time and close to the raw materials source or at the location of use.
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