Special considerations must be made for loading expensive solid catalyst materials into fixed-bed and tubular reactors
Most units in the chemical process industries (CPI) use complex and expensive heterogeneous catalysts aimed at improving reaction performance. Although sometimes overlooked, the solids-handling practices associated with loading and unloading solid catalyst materials into and out of reactors can have a significant impact on the ultimate performance of the catalyst, the operation of the process and the safety of the personnel involved. Even the most highly engineered solid catalysts can exhibit reduced performance and present safety hazards if they are not correctly handled and loaded.
Efficient catalyst loading significantly increases the process unit’s performance by improving the flow distribution inside the reactor and also preventing any settling of the bed, resulting in more reliable operation. This article discusses some of the potential issues that can arise from improper loading of solid catalysts and explores best practices and current technology for achieving proper loading.
Catalyst materials and usage
Catalysts, inlcuding homogeneous, heterogeneous and biological catalysts, are added to a chemical…