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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 7082381, 10 pages
Research Article

Modeling and Simulation of the Hydrogenation of α-Methylstyrene on Catalytically Active Metal Foams as Tubular Reactor Packing

Technische Universität Dresden, Münchener Strasse 41, 01062 Dresden, Germany

Received 17 September 2015; Revised 1 December 2015; Accepted 9 December 2015

Academic Editor: Bhaskar Kulkarni

Copyright © 2016 Farzad Lali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This work presents a one-dimensional reactor model for a tubular reactor packed with a catalytically active foam packing with a pore density of 30 PPI in cocurrent upward flow in the example of hydrogenation reaction of α-methylstyrene to cumene. This model includes material, enthalpy, and momentum balances as well as continuity equations. The model was solved within the parameter space applied for experimental studies under assumption of a bubbly flow. The method of orthogonal collocation on finite elements was applied. For isothermal and polytropic processes and steady state conditions, axial profiles for concentration, temperature, fluid velocities, pressure, and liquid holdup were computed and the conversions for various gas and liquid flow rates were validated with experimental results. The obtained results were also compared in terms of space time yield and catalytic activity with experimental results and stirred tank and also with random packed bed reactor. The comparison shows that the application of solid foams as reactor packing is advantageous compared to the monolithic honeycombs and random packed beds.