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Title: Continuous flow aerobic oxidation of benzyl alcohol on Ru/Al2O3 catalyst in a flat membrane microchannel reactor: An experimental and modelling study
Authors: Wu, Gaowei 
Cao, Enhong 
Ellis, Peter 
Constantinou, Achilleas 
Kuhn, Simon 
Gavriilidis, Asterios 
Major Field of Science: Natural Sciences
Field Category: Chemical Sciences
Keywords: Ruthenium catalyst;Alcohol aerobic oxidation;Teflon AF-2400 membrane;Membrane reactor modelling
Issue Date: 29-Jun-2019
Source: Chemical Engineering Science, 2019, vol. 201, pp. 386-396
Volume: 201
Start page: 386
End page: 396
Journal: Chemical Engineering Science 
Abstract: A flat Teflon AF-2400 membrane microchannel reactor was experimentally and theoretically investigated for aerobic oxidation of benzyl alcohol on a 5 wt% Ru/Al2O3 catalyst. The reactor consisted of gas and liquid channels (75 mm (L) × 3 mm (W) × 1 mm (D)), separated by a 0.07 mm thick semipermeable Teflon AF-2400 flat membrane, which allowed continuous supply of oxygen during the reaction and simultaneously avoided direct mixing of gaseous oxygen with organic reactants. A catalyst stability test was first carried out, and the experimental data obtained were used to estimate the kinetics of benzyl alcohol oxidation with a 2D reactor model. Using these kinetics, predictions from the 2D reactor model agreed well with the experimental data obtained at different liquid flow rates and oxygen pressures. The mass transfer and catalytic reaction in the membrane microchannel reactor were then theoretically studied by changing the membrane thickness, the liquid channel depth, and the reaction rate coefficient. Oxygen transverse mass transport in the catalyst bed was found to be the controlling process for the system investigated, and decreasing the liquid channel depth is suggested to improve the oxygen supply and enhance the benzyl alcohol conversion in the membrane reactor.
ISSN: 00092509
DOI: 10.1016/j.ces.2019.02.015
Rights: © Elsevier
Type: Article
Affiliation : London South Bank University 
KU Leuven 
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