Chementator: A new reactor is set to change the way chemicals are produced
By Chemical Engineering |
Alfa Laval AB (Lund, Sweden; edlinks.chemengonline.com/5830-531) has developed a new reactor system, called Alfa Laval Plate Reactors (trademarked as ART), which combines the high-heat-transfer capabilities of plate heat exchangers with the efficient mixing and reaction control typical of microreactors into a single unit. Because of the high heat and mass transfer achieved in the system, the working inventory of potentially dangerous reactants is reduced by up to 95% compared to a conventional stirred-tank reactor; this feature makes the Alfa Laval Plate Reactor especially suitable for performing highly exothermic or explosive reactions, says Oskar Olai, marketing manager at Alfa Laval. The system is also easy to scale up, he adds.
The ART system (diagram, right) consists of a reactor sandwiched between heat exchanger plates. The reactor is either a plate with millimeter-deep channels machined onto the surface (for the laboratory-scale version), or a structured plate (photo, left), through which the reactants follow a torturous path to ensure efficient mixing. The system is designed so that reagents can be injected or the reaction mixture itself monitored at different locations along the flow path, which can be important for controlling…