Multidimensional Modeling of a Microfibrous Entrapped Cobalt Catalyst Fischer-Tropsch Reactor Bed Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Thermal management of highly exothermic Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) has been a challenging bottleneck limiting the radial dimension of the packed-bed (PB) reactor tube to 1.5 in. ID. A computational demonstration of a novel microfibrous entrapped cobalt catalyst (MFECC) in mitigating hot spot formation has been evaluated. Specifically, a two-dimensional (2-D) model was developed in COMSOL, validated with experimental data and subsequently employed to demonstrate scale-up of the FTS bed from 0.59 to 4 in. ID. Significant hot spot of 102.39 K in PB was reduced to 9.4 K in MFECC bed under gas phase at 528.15 K and 2 MPa. Improvement in heat transfer within the MFECC bed facilitates higher productivities at low space velocities (1000 h1) corresponding to high CO conversion (90%). Additionally, the MFECC reactor provides an eightfold increase in the reactor ID at hot spots 30 K with CO% conversions 90%. This model was developed for a typical FTS cobalt-based catalyst where CO2 production is negligible. 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 64: 17231731, 2018.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Challiwala, M. S., Wilhite, B. A., Ghouri, M. M., & Elbashir, N. O.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Challiwala, Mohamed Sufiyan||Wilhite, Benjamin A||Ghouri, Mohammed M||Elbashir, Nimir O

publication date

  • May 2018