This system incorporates three tubular reactors that can be configured as required to operate in a strictly parallel fashion or in a cascade arrangement where the products from one reactor are immediately directed to a second reactor. This type of system can support reaction schemes including but not limited to the Fischer-Tropsch process, methanation reactions, steam reforming and other similar processes.
The Fischer-Tropsch process converts carbon monoxide and hydrogen into oils or fuels that can substitute for petroleum products. The reaction uses a catalyst based on iron or cobalt and is fueled by the partial oxidation of coal or wood-based materials such as ethanol, methanol, or syngas. This reaction scheme offers a promising route to producing economical renewable transportation fuels. By carefully controlling the temperature and oxygen content, resulting products can range from syngas to “green diesel”.
One of the unique features of this system is a gas blending subsystem capable of mixing up to four reactant gases followed by a controlled delivery of this blended mixture to each of the three reactors via dedicated mass flow controllers.
Downstream components for each reactor include a heat exchanger/condenser, a gas/liquid separator (product receiver) and a fully automated back pressure regulator. The system includes support for introducing liquid reactants via a high pressure metering pump. The system comes completely automated with the addition of the highly versatile 4871 Process Controller.