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Journal Articles International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering Year : 2009

Literature Review on Heat Transfer in Two- and Three-Phase Bubble Columns

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Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS), an exothermic reaction where hydrogen and carbon monoxide synthesis gas are converted to hydrocarbon products, has been under development since the 1930's. The interest in FTS depends on current and perceived future prices of crude oil but is increasingly viewed as an option for exploiting stranded natural gas. Other advantages of FTS hydrocarbons include the absence of sulphur, nitrogen, heavy metal contaminants, low aromatic content and the ability to produce high value middle distillates/fuels. Current interest is directed towards slurry bubble processes – comprising gas, liquid, and solid phases. Industrial slurry phase FTS reactors may range in size from 6 – 10 m in diameter and upwards of 30 m in height and include multiple internal heat transfer tubes. Such systems offer numerous advantages including high heat transfer rates, good mixing, and ease of online catalyst addition and withdrawal. However, one disadvantage is the complex hydrodynamics associated with slurry bubble columns, which make scale-up difficult. A literature review on heat transfer studies and correlations has been completed focusing on previous experimental setups, the synthesis of the key findings/parameters, and the identification of the necessary criteria required for reactor design and scale-up.The parameters having the most pronounced impact on heat transfer in slurry bubble columns and three-phase fluidized beds are the superficial gas velocity and liquid properties such as viscosity and surface tension, which significantly alter the bubble properties and the column hydrodynamics. The effect of particles is poorly understood and is a complex function of particle diameter and concentration. The experimental results and correlations reported here from the majority of studies are dependent upon the equipment and properties of the three phases studied – resulting in very limited applicability to other systems or for scale-up. Other concerns include the use of relatively low gas velocities, ambient temperature and pressure, relatively large particles, and relatively small columns employed in most studies, which are not relevant to industrial operating conditions. Furthermore, studies involving multiple internals were relatively few. Most columns were only equipped with a single tube or small heat flux probe thereby measuring only the local heat transfer and not taking into account the effect on column hydrodynamics of multiple internals. Of these studies only a few tubes were equipped with heaters (that did not run the entire tube length) and heat flux probes while the remaining probes were inactive.

Dates and versions

hal-01933194 , version 1 (23-11-2018)



Craig Hulet, Patrice Clement, Patrice Tochon, Daniel Schweich, Nicolas Dromard, et al.. Literature Review on Heat Transfer in Two- and Three-Phase Bubble Columns. International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering, 2009, 7 (1), ⟨10.2202/1542-6580.1804⟩. ⟨hal-01933194⟩
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