The pressure drop in a microchannel Fischer-Tropsch reactor was
investigated by means of a fluid dynamics model developed by the authors. The
developed model takes into account roughness of the microchannel wall induced
by catalyst particle deposition on the surface of the microchannel. The
presented simulation procedure takes into account the variation of the
synthesis product composition and the variation of thermal properties of the
liquid and gas phases along the microchannel length as functions of pressure,
temperature, conversion rate and chain growth coefficient. Liquid and gaseous
products down flow are modeled in the annular flow approximation. The obtained
results are presented for two general types of microchannels, i.e. for rough-walled and for
smooth-walled microchannels. It is shown that fluid dynamics in rough-walled
and smooth-walled microchannels are dramatically different. It is established
that a mean critical diameter can be introduced. The microchannels with
diameter below the mean critical value can experience operation difficulty due
to by high aerodynamic resistance or can even become completely flooded.
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