Hydrodynamics in a pilot‐scale cocurrent trickle‐bed reactor at low gas velocities Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2018 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Hydrodynamic data obtained from laboratory-scale trickle-beds often fail to accurately represent industrial-scale systems with high packing aspect ratios and column-to-particle diameter ratios. In this study, pressure drop, liquid holdup, and flow regime transition were investigated in a pilot-scale trickle-bed column of 33 cm ID and 2.45 m bed height packed with 1.6 mm × 8.4 ± 1.4 mm cylindrical extrudates for air-water mass superficial velocities of 0.0023 – 0.094 kg/m2s and 4.5 – 45 kg/m2s, respectively, at atmospheric pressure. Significant deviation was observed from pressure drop and liquid holdup correlations at low liquid flows rates, corresponding to gravity-driven flow limit. Likewise, liquid saturation is overestimated by correlations at high liquid flow rates, owing to significantly reduced wall effects. Lastly, trickle-to-dispersed bubble flow and trickle-to-pulsing flow regime transitions are reported using a combination of visual observations and analysis of the magnitude of local pressure fluctuations within the column. © 2018 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 64: 2560–2569, 2018.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kawatra, P., Panyaram, S., & Wilhite, B. A.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • July 2018