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Advances in fixed-bed reactor modeling using particle-resolved computational fluid dynamics (CFD)

Jurtz, Nico; Kraume, Matthias; Wehinger, Gregor D.

FG Verfahrenstechnik

In 2006, Dixon et al. published the comprehensive review article entitled “Packed tubular reactor modeling and catalyst design using computational fluid dynamics.” More than one decade later, many researchers have contributed to novel insights, as well as a deeper understanding of the topic. Likewise, complexity has grown and new issues have arisen, for example, by coupling microkinetics with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). In this review article, the latest advances are summarized in the field of modeling fixed-bed reactors with particle-resolved CFD, i.e. a geometric resolution of every pellet in the bed. The current challenges of the detailed modeling are described, i.e. packing generation, meshing, and solving with an emphasis on coupling microkinetics with CFD. Applications of this detailed approach are discussed, i.e. fluid dynamics and pressure drop, dispersion, heat and mass transfer, as well as heterogeneous catalytic systems. Finally, conclusions and future prospects are presented.