How to Design a Packed Bed Tubular Reactor A packed-bed chemical process is a cylinder filled with metal, plastic or ceramic materials that increase the surface area inside the vessel. The purpose of packed-bed technology is to increase the contact surface area between two phases of two or more chemical compounds. Typically, gases are pushed up from the bottom of a packed bed while liquid reactants are pumped from the top. The gas and liquid contact each other in the packing material. A tubular reactor is simply a long pipe or series of pipes that allow for reactants to contact each other and have a complete reaction on the exiting side. Therefore, a packed-bed tubular reactor is a long pipe that has packing inside.
Instructions 1. Determine the reactants and the reaction to take place. You must also know the reaction kinetics (speed of reaction) as well as any catalytic inputs that can be incorporated into the packing. 2. Determine the temperatures and pressures that will force the reaction to proceed at the desired rate. This would be the basis for the length of the reactor. 3. Determine the pipe size of the reactor based on the desired production rate. The kinetics, temperatures and pressures will feed into the desired production rate for the process. For instance, if the reaction is very fast and a high production rate is required, the reactor could be short and there could be multiple tubular reactors in parallel.
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