Catalyst Loading Toolkit for Tubular Reactors

Loading or removing a fixed bed (aka packed bed) of bulk solids such as powdered catalyst deep inside a long narrow tubular reactor at a precise repeatable depth can be challenging. One can’t see well inside much less reach deep inside with a hand or pliers. While measuring out a precise mass of catalyst it is easy to spill a portion while trying to pour it into the small opening on the end the reactor tube. Perhaps you have improvised using a funnel designed for liquids or a makeshift piece of tubing with depth markings scrawled in permanent marker to help load catalyst in your tubular reactors. Perhaps you have wished for a more permanent solution or a better set of tools for loading and removing catalyst. Parr created the Catalyst Loading Toolkit for just this reason: to facilitate loading of catalyst in the annulus of our tubular reactors and easily adjust the location and length of the catalyst packing.

Parr Tubular Reactor
Parr Tubular Reactor

Solids Loading Toolkit for 5401 Tubular Reactor

Catalyst Loading Toolkit:
A. Corkscrew tool
B. Funnel to hold thermocouple centered
C. Packing rod
D. Thermocouple centering tool
E. Spool pieces

Centerline thermocouples or thermowells are a standard fixture in Parr tubular reactors and provide valuable information about the temperature inside the catalyst bed. However, this feature further complicates the task of loading catalyst while keeping the thermocouple or thermowell radially centered, especially when the thermocouple only extends partway through the tubular reactor. A centered thermowell is important not only for accuracy of temperature measurements but also to avoid radial flow maldistribution (e.g channeling). An off-center thermowell may impede proper densification of the bed on one side or worsen temperature non-uniformity on the side of the thermocouple with the wider gap in the case of more energetic reactions. In the worst case, the thermowell or thermocouple may even touch the side of the reactor, significantly altering the accuracy of the temperature measurement. Parr’s Catalyst Loading Toolkit solves this problem, allowing the user to maintain the thermocouple/thermowell in the center of the reactor tube while inserting any combination of support spools, quartz wool, and catalyst powder.

Solids Loading Toolkit Funnel
Solids Loading Toolkit Funnel

Parr Catalyst Support Spools thread over the thermowell and maintain the thermocouple centered while permitting fluid to pass and allowing the user to provide support at a consistent axial location for quartz wool or other packing which supports a bed of catalyst or inert powder. The Parr packing rod allows quartz wool or other suitable porous support material to be packed in the annulus at any axial location inside the tubular reactor, with the packing depth easily readable on the scale engraved on the side of the packing rod. When these plugs of quartz wool need to be removed, the Corkscrew tool allows the user to easily hook these plugs of quartz wool and pull them out without removing the thermocouple. The Parr solids powder funnel can be used together with the thermocouple centering tool to keep the thermowell or thermocouple centered while adding powder. The funnel is designed with a smooth finish and steep angle to ensure your powder flows smoothly and completely into the reactor.

Whether you are purchasing a new Parr Tubular Reactor system or already have a Parr tubular reactor and want to save time, reduce frustration, and improve experimental accuracy, contact Parr to order your Catalyst Loading Toolkit today!

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Packing Rod showing lasered measurement etchings
Packing rod showing lasered measurement etchings