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Specific properties of supercritical fluids for fast and exothermic reactive systems

Abstract : The development of new catalysts for propyne and propadiene (MAPD) hydrogenation is a complex process, because it is a fast reaction performed in gas-liquid-solid. Indeed, in these conditions, the hydrogen flux (G/L and L/S) transported to the reaction sites controls the overall reaction rate, particularly at pilot scale. To avoid this limitation, the MAPD selective hydrogenation was performed in single-phase, using a single pellet string reactor (SPSR) at high-pressure and supercritical conditions. For both conditions, the literature is scarce. Thus, the first step was to develop and validate a microfluidic experimental apparatus and a methodology based on “design of experiments”, in order to obtain PT miscibility diagrams and critical coordinates. These methods combined allowed a fast PT screening compared to conventional phase behavior cells, being around 5 times higher. In parallel, the SPSR was characterized by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for flow and mass transfer. It was shown that the hydrodynamic inside the reactor can be modeled as a plug flow reactor with low axial dispersion, and a LS mass transfer correlation was proposed. After the fluid and reactor characterization, the MAPD hydrogenation was performed at 303 K and from 20 to 120 bar. At these conditions, several parameters were tested, such as WHSV (weight hourly space velocity), pressure and solvent fraction. The results showed that high-pressure and supercritical conditions offer better reaction performance, which is due to the suppression of the gas-liquid limitation and to the diffusivity enhancements (more than 5 times faster than conventional conditions). With this thesis, it was possible, for the first time, to estimate the intrinsic kinetics parameters of a dense C3 cut mixture hydrogenation, allowing a deeper understanding of the involved mechanism. Thus, the use of unconventional conditions has opened a door to new forms of catalyst screening and new ways to study kinetics.
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Bruno Miguel da Silva Pinho. Specific properties of supercritical fluids for fast and exothermic reactive systems. Material chemistry. Université de Bordeaux, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015BORD0229⟩. ⟨tel-01683247⟩

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