Design and fabrication of a multi-tubular fixed bed reactor for acetone production as a pilot plant model for chemical engineering training in developing nations
Keywords:Reactor Design, Chemical Reaction Engineering Education, Multi-tubular Fixed-Bed Reactor, Fabrication
In this work, the design and fabrication of a pilot-scale multi-tubular fixed bed reactor have been carried out with the aid of computational software (MATLAB R2010b), aiming to process 6.5 L/h of isopropanol to acetone using non-adiabatic thermal conditions. The reactor fabricated would serve as a demonstration rig to enhance research practice, teaching, and learning processes in Advanced Reactor Analysis. The acetone production studied involves four stages, which are simultaneous vaporization and dehydrogenation, condensation, and storage. In the simultaneous vaporization and dehydrogenation, isopropanol is heated to 473 K indirectly to change the phase of raw material from liquid to vapor. In comparison, isopropanol is dehydrogenated to be acetone and hydrogen with 50 % conversion using Cu/SiO2 composite as a catalyst in the multi-tubular fixed bed reactor at 473 K and 1 bar. Condensation occurs when an ice bath cools down the vapor product to liquid. Hence, the condensed product is tested for acetone, and the overall cost analysis for the whole process is
calculated. The design can be a model for other chemical engineering schools to fabricate a locally made reactor
for the training and re-training of chemical engineers, especially in developing nations.
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