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Coil-in-Coil Reactor: Augmenting Plug Flow Performance by Combining Different Geometric Features Using 3D Printing

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jonathan McDonough, Dr Richard Law, Professor Adam Harvey



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by American Chemical Society, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Additive manufacturing enables the fabrication of geometries previously unavailable via conventional means. Here, a helically coiled channel containing a secondary helical coil insert was 3D-printed and operated in a net flow with superimposed oscillation. This “coil-in-coil” geometry exhibited exceptional plug flow quality at low Reynolds numbers (Re = 10–50). High levels of plug flow were observed at oscillation amplitudes of 2–8 mm. The greatest degree of plug flow occurred with Reo/Ren = 2–7 and Sr = 1–2. Surprisingly, the coil-in-coil geometry demonstrated excellent plug flow behavior (N = 40–100) at very low oscillation frequencies (f = 0.25–0.5 Hz). Compared to various benchmark designs (“plain” coiled tube, straight tube containing a helical coil insert, and plain straight tube), the coil-in-coil geometry demonstrated enhanced plug flow quality at low frequencies (≤1 Hz) at all amplitudes and low amplitudes (1–2 mm) at all frequencies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McDonough JR, Armett J, Law R, Harvey AP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research

Year: 2019

Volume: 58

Issue: 47

Pages: 21363-21371

Online publication date: 01/11/2019

Acceptance date: 01/11/2019

Date deposited: 20/01/2020

ISSN (print): 0888-5885

ISSN (electronic): 1520-5045

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/acs.iecr.9b04239


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