Effects of Induced Pulsing Flow on Trickle-Bed Reactor Performance Academic Article uri icon


  • The benefits of trickle-bed reactor operation under the induced pulsing flow regime are investigated using experiments and modeling. Under these conditions, by cycling the liquid feed, trickling and pulsing flow regimes can be made to alternate during the cycle period under time-averaged conditions corresponding to the trickling flow regime. For the hydrogenation of phenylacetylene over Pt/-Al 2 O 3 catalyst, experimental results obtained in a laboratory-scale reactor operating under mild gas-limiting conditions indicate better performance for steady flow, as opposed to induced pulsing flow. The model predictions compare well with the experimental data. Further, simulations of a trickle-bed reactor over a wide range of initial reactant concentrations and pressures predict up to 45% improvement in styrene selectivity for induced pulsing flow under liquid-limited conditions. The findings suggest that enhancements in reactor performance due to induced pulsing can be expected for liquid-limited systems, which generally operate at low liquid flow rates, as are commonly encountered in industrial practice.

published proceedings

  • Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Wilhite, B. A., Huang, X., McCready, M. J., & Varma, A.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Wilhite, BA||Huang, X||McCready, MJ||Varma, A

publication date

  • May 2003