Numerical analysis of mass transport effects on the performance of a tubular catalytic membrane contactor for direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide

M. Selinsek, A. Pashkova, R. Dittmeyer

Catalysis Today, 248 (2015), 101–107, doi: 10.1016/j.cattod.2014.05.048


Despite intensive research carried out by academia and industry over the past decades, the liquid phase direct hydrogen peroxide synthesis still faces a lot of challenges including safety, selectivity and productivity of the reaction. One facet of this multiphase reaction is the mass transport of the gaseous reactants, hydrogen and oxygen, in the liquid phase and inside of the catalyst. However, this has not been receiving much attention although, in many of the experiments reported in literature it seems to have affected to a large extent the results obtained. In this paper we report an analysis of performance data from a catalytic membrane reactor system published by Pashkova et al. in 2010. A rigorous two-dimensional model based on ANSYS Fluent was adopted to study the effects of an inert packing installed in the membrane reactor. The simulation results reveal a massive influence of mass transport limitation on the performance of the experimental system and also indicate significant potential for optimization of productivity and selectivity by adopting micro process technology combined with membranes for reactant dosage.

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