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Performance of continuous-flow micro-reactors with curved geometries. Experimental and numerical analysis

Abstract: One of the major challenges in the design of micro-devices, when very fast reactions are carried out, is to overcome the limited performance due to the poor mixing efficiency of the reactants. Here, we report a holistic analysis of reactants mixing and reaction rate in liquid phase flow micro-reactors with curved geometries. In this sense, a mathematical model that accounts for momentum and mass conservation equations, together with species transport and chemical reaction rate under isothermal conditions, has been developed using computational fluid dynamics techniques (CFD). To validate the predictive model, four micro-reactor geometries with different radius and curved length (straight reactor, two types of serpentines and an Archimedean spiral) have been evaluated. Simulated results proved that mixing is promoted through the formation of Dean vortices as a consequence of the reduction of the radius of curvature and at the same time of the extension of the curve. Thus, the overall performance of the micro-reactor is improved because mass transport limitations are minimized and the process kinetics are greatly enhanced. Accordingly, the spiral micro-reactor reported the best performance by reducing by half the time required to obtain 95 % conversion when compared with the straight reactor. Simulated findings have been confirmed with the experimental analysis of the reaction between aqueous ammonium and hypochlorite ions. Very good agreement between simulated and experimental results has been achieved with an error lower than 10 %. Therefore, the robust model herein reported is a novel and valuable tool to assist in the optimum design of micro-reactors for fluid-phase isothermal applications.

 Autoría: Fernández-Maza C., Fallanza M., Gómez-Coma L., Ortiz I.,

 Fuente: Chemical Engineering Journal, 2022, 437(2), 135192

 Editorial: Elsevier

 Fecha de publicación: 01/06/2022

 Nº de páginas: 8

 Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2022.135192

 ISSN: 1385-8947,1873-3212

 Proyecto español: RTI2018-093310-B-I00

 Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2022.135192