Distributing Feed Better

Part (a) in Figure 3.10.1 shows the importance of distributing feeds. The reactants enter at the top of a fixed-catalyst bed. Part of the feed short-circuits through the center of the reactor having inadequate time to convert to the product. Conversely, the feed closer to the walls remains in the reactor too long and overreacts creating by-products that become waste. Although the average residence time in the reactor is correct, inadequate feed distribution causes poor conversion and poor yield.

One solution is to add a distributor that causes the feed to move uniformly through all parts of the reactor (see part (b) in Figure 3.10.1). Some form of collector may also be necessary at the bottom to prevent the flow from necking down to the outlet.

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