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Title: Scale-up of dry impregnation processes for porous spherical catalyst particles in a rotating drum: experiments and simulations

Catalyst impregnation is the first step and one of the most crucial steps for preparing industrial catalysts. The process is typically performed in rotating vessels with a spray-nozzle to distribute the liquid onto porous catalyst supports until the pore volume is reached. The inter-particle variability of the impregnated liquid inside the particles significantly affects the activity and selectivity of the resulting catalyst. Current scale-up practices lead to poor fluid distribution and inhomogeneity in the liquid content. The aim of this work is to understand the dynamic behavior of the particles under the spray nozzle, which is essential for desired content uniformity, and to develop a scale-up model for the dry impregnation process. In this work, we considered four dimensionless numbers in the scaling analysis. The scale-up rules require that the dimensionless numbers are kept constant for different scales. Both DEM simulations and matching experiments of dry impregnation inside the porous particles were performed for different vessel sizes. The water content of the particles was compared for different times and locations, and the relative standard deviation is calculated from the axial water content. Simulation and experimental results show that particles achieve similar content uniformity at the end of impregnation, confirming that the scale-up rules are applicable to all vessel sizes. The dimensionless numbers give very good scale-up performance since curves collapse indicating similarity in the processes. In addition, the scale-up method is validated for different particle sizes in simulations.

Graphical abstract 
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Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Springer Science + Business Media
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Granular Matter
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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