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Numerical study of the flow pattern and heat transfer enhancement in oscillatory baffled reactors with helical coil inserts

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Juan Solano, Dr Ruth Herrero, Professor Anh Phan, Professor Adam Harvey


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Oscillatory baffled reactors (OBRs) are a means of process intensification as they allow processes with long residence time to be converted from batch to continuous processing. Helically baffled OBRs have only been developed at "mesoscale" so far, but at this scale have displayed significant advantages in terms of the increased range of conditions over which plug flow is achieved. Scale-up studies are underway to determine whether this is replicated at larger scales. This paper reports fluid mechanical modeling of a helically baffled oscillatory flow for the first time. Time-dependent flow structures induced in tubular reactors have been analyzed on the basis of periodic, laminar flow numerical simulation. A reversing swirled core flow and its interaction with the unsteady mechanism of vortex shedding downstream of the wires has been described. This has allowed greater understanding of the flow structures, which will underpin optimal design and scale-up. The potential for heat transfer enhancement is discussed, considering the compound effect of oscillatory motion and helical coil inserts. The results show that the heat transfer for the helical baffled tube could be enhanced by a factor of 4 compared to a smooth tube in the tested range of oscillation conditions. (C) 2012 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harvey AP; Phan AN; Herrero R; Solano JP; Espin S

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 3rd European Process Intensification Conference (EPIC)

Year of Conference: 2012

Pages: 732-742

ISSN: 0263-8762

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.cherd.2012.03.017

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: Chemical Engineering Research & Design

ISBN: 17443563