Autocatalytic oxidation of cyclohexane—modeling reaction kinetics

A. K. Suresh, T. Sridhar, O. E. Potter

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Liquid phase oxidation of hydrocarbons is a major source of organic chemicals. This paper concerns itself with the oxidation of cyclohexane. The process is one in which gas absorption is accompanied by chemical reaction, but little information has been reported. A major factor has been safety considerations, the Flixborough explosion being a constant reminder. In this paper attention is given to the kinetics and to the interaction of kinetics and mass transfer, showing that in this autocatalytic system the dissolved oxygen level rises to saturation and falls as the rate of reaction increases. Initially zero order in oxygen, the reaction becomes first order at low oxygen levels. Oscillations and enhancement due to reaction within the boundary layer are noted. A kinetic model is developed based on simplification of the accepted free radical scheme and it is reasonably successful in accounting for the results reported. Experiments at temperatures up to 170°C and 70 bar using uncatalyzed reaction are reported from three different reactors: a homogenous batch reactor, a flat interface reactor, and a sparged agitated bubbling reactor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1988

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