Intensified isothermal reactor for methanol synthesis

Ben Redondo, Milinkumar T. Shah, Vishnu K. Pareek, Ranjeet P. Utikar, Paul A. Webley, Jim Patel, Woo Jin Lee, Tejas Bhatelia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The performance of different tubular reactor designs for methanol synthesis was investigated by using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and experiments. The validated model was used to investigate the effect of various reactor geometries, coolant temperature, feed temperature, inlet composition, and flow rate on the methanol yield and heat transfer performance. New designs using metal inserts were proposed with an aim to improve the methanol yield by simple retrofitting. It was observed that the metal inserts can be utilized to relocate the catalyst close to the cooling surface, and as a result, near isothermal operating condition was achieved in both tube-cooled and tubular reactors. The methanol yield in tube-cooled and tubular reactors with the proposed metal inserts was improved by an average of 36% and 27% respectively over the range of space velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107606
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing - Process Intensification
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • CFD
  • Fixed bed reactor
  • Intensified reactor
  • Methanol
  • Tube-cooled reactor

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