In this paper, the performance of two types of advanced foam packings (viz., Hairy Foam and washcoated Solid Foam) is compared with that of a packed bed of porous spherical particles. The comparison is done for two different types of reactions (viz., the slow hydrogenation of cinnamaldehyde and the fast hydrogenation of 3-methyl-1-pentyn-3-ol) and under two flow conditions (viz., upflow and downflow), in terms of selectivity, conversion, pressure drop, and reactor height. Under similar operating conditions, the simulation results show that, for both reactions, the Hairy Foam and Solid Foam packings reach higher selectivities and conversions than the packed bed of particles. However, in the case of the slow reaction, the pressure drop for the Hairy and Solid Foam packings is significantly larger than that for the bed of particles. This is due to the lower solids holdup, and thus lower catalyst concentration, of the Hairy Foam and Solid Foam packings. Therefore, larger reactors are required for the hairy foam and solid foam packings, resulting in a higher total pressure drop.
Wenmakers, P. W. A. M., Schaaf, van der, J., Kuster, B. F. M., & Schouten, J. C. (2010). Comparative modeling study on the performance of solid foam as a structured catalyst support in multiphase reactors. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 49(11), 5353-5366. https://doi.org/10.1021/ie900644e