A Multiscale 3D Packed Bed Reactor

Model ID: 17019


One of the most common reactors in the chemical industry, for use in heterogeneous catalytic processes, is the packed bed reactor. This type of reactor is used both in synthesis as well as in effluent treatment and catalytic combustion.

This model is set up to calculate the concentration distribution in the reactor gas that flows around the pellets, but it also uses an extra dimension that models the concentration distribution inside each porous catalytic pellet. The extra dimension is built in the the feature Reactive Pellet Bed, which was introduced in COMSOL 5.0.

The reactor consists of a cylindrical shell filled with catalyst particles. These particles can be contained within a supporting structure, like tubes or channels, or they can be packed in one single compartment in the reactor.

This model presents an approach to studying coupled macro- and micro-mass balances in packed beds and other heterogeneous reactors. The model calculates the concentration profiles of reacting species both in the 3D packed bed reactor as well as in each individual catalyst pellet.