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Prospect of open-cell solid foams for floating-platform multiphase reactor applications - maldistribution susceptibility and hydrodynamic behavior

: Dashliborun, Amir Motamed; Füssel, Alexander; Larachi, Faical


The chemical engineering journal 332 (2018), S.596-607
ISSN: 1385-8947
ISSN: 0300-9467
ISSN: 0923-0467
ISSN: 0009-2487
ISSN: 1873-3212 (Online)
Fraunhofer IKTS ()
Open-cell solid foam; floating packed bed; stationary tilt; oscillation; Maldistribution; hydrodynamic

Open-cell solid foams are tested for the first time as prospective structured packings in floating columns to evaluate their potential for offshore multiphase reactor applications. Using a hexapod ship motion simulator and low-intrusive wire-mesh sensors, the effect of floating vessel motions on the hydrodynamic behavior of SiSiC foam packed beds operated with concurrent descending gas-liquid flow was comprehensively investigated. The response of gas-liquid distribution, overall bed pressure drop, and liquid axial dispersion to column tilts as well as translational and rotational motions was acquired and compared to their corresponding stationary (onshore) analog configuration. Maldistribution sensitivity and susceptibility of solid-foam packed beds subject to ship tilts and accelerations were interpreted in terms of fluid uniformity factor. Moreover, a stimulus-response tracer pulse technique and a macro-mixing model were used to estimate the liquid mean residence time and Péclet number. Similar to random packings, fluid maldistribution was found to prevail in solid-foam beds with deviations from uniformity greater for rotational than for translational perturbations. Vessel tilts and oscillations adversely affect open-cell foam bed hydrodynamic performance yielding transient gas-liquid segregated flow regimes, oscillations of pressure drop and uniformity factor, as well as notable deviation from liquid plug flow.