HEL will be presenting on the 11th of December at this one day conference organised by the Catalysis Special Interest Group. The topic being presented will be "Reactor Platforms for Rapid development of bio-fuel processes’’. Growing demand for "green" fuels (bio-diesel, bio-ethanol etc) as well as sustainable hydrogen production focused on 2nd
generation fuels produced from non-food sources such as waste and co-product biomass is leading increasingly to the search for metal-based catalyst working at high pressure and temperature with a view eventually to scale-up. This presentation will discuss the features of and experimental data from, miniature reactors that are being widely used for heterogeneous phase catalytic research in both academia and private industry. There are broadly two different requirements for the research reactors - high throughput process screening and medium throughput, detailed process development.
The former involves stirred vials working at very small scale (around 1ml) but in large numbers (16 to 96 typically) so that many different candidate reactions can be compared but with each sample at the same conditions of temperature and pressure. Equipment of this type is widely used for catalyst development as well as catalyst and process screening. By contrast, development of a more detailed process, after catalysts and synthetic routes have been selected, requires each sample to be more precisely monitored and controlled with a typical working volume of around 100ml and typically only 4-8 reactors in parallel. This allows generation of data that can be used to design larger scale process and also to optimise working conditions.
This HEL presentation will use heterogeneous hydrogenation reactions to illustrate the way in which these tools can be used and the data that is produced. The presentation will also discuss the design of a packed-bed, research scale, and continuous flow system for the same types of applications. This can be used to produce of relatively large amounts of product very easily and also to undertake further optimisation of conditions if this is necessary after switching to flow mode. Several different reactions will be demonstrated on the flow system.