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Fixed Bed Reactor for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Oxidation

Application ID: 257

Tubular reactors are generally modelled with the assumption that the concentration and temperature gradients only occur in the axial direction. The only transport mechanism operating in this direction is the overall flow itself, which is considered to be of plug-flow.

In this example a more general approach is taken, an approach that accounts for variations of the concentrations and temperature in the radial direction. Furthermore, mixing in the axial direction is accounted for through effective diffusivities and conductivities, which is due to turbulence and the presence of packing.

The example models the partial oxidation of o-xylene in air to phthalic anhydrid (PA) in a multitube fixed-bed reactor. The reaction is exothermic and it requires good cooling to occur at optimal rates, therefore a cooling flux at the outer boundary is included as a function of the temperature.

This model is included as an example in the following products:

Batteries & Fuel Cells Module CFD Module Chemical Reaction Engineering Module Corrosion Module Electrochemistry Module Electrodeposition Module Microfluidics Module Subsurface Flow Module

The combination of COMSOL® products required to model your application depends on several factors and may include boundary conditions, material properties, physics interfaces, and part libraries. Particular functionality may be common to several products. To determine the right combination of products for your modeling needs, review the Specification Chart and make use of a free evaluation license. The COMSOL Sales and Support teams are available for answering any questions you may have regarding this.