Application 1013 Picture used for flow rate determination in rotating bed reactors for high throughput treatment of liquids

High-throughput systems for processing liquid products

As a tool for heterogeneous catalysis, or purification of liquids using materials like activated carbon, the rotating bed reactor provides high throughput capability frequently exceeding traditional technologies.

The rotating bed reactor (RBR) is particularly well suited for:

  • fast reactions
  • effective mixing
  • high throughput

These are some of the main benefits and strengths that come with the rotating bed reactor, thanks to the vivid liquid flow it generates. Watch this video to get a feel for how strong a flow rate even the smallest rotating bed reactor (RBR S2) may create.


Conditions: A water filled (2 L) connected system consisting of a tank (1 L) to which an external flower baffled vessel (200 mL) was connected via pipes (24.6 mm ID). A SpinChem® rotating bed reactor (RBR) S221 filled with activated carbon (28 mL, 20-50 mesh) was placed in the external vessel and started rotating at 1000 rpm. Maximum velocity (Umax) in the middle of the bottom horizontal pipe was measured by following the movement of methylene blue (1 mL, 40 mg) by means of counting video frames, yielding a linear flow of 0.32 m/s. From the linear flow rate and the kinematic viscosity of water at 20 °C, Reynolds number in the pipe was calculated to 7900, indicating a predominantly turbulent flow for which the velocity profile is represented by U=Umax(1-r/R)1/7, where R is the pipe radius and r is the position from the centre. Numerical integration of this expression over the cross section of the pipe using the quadrature package in SciPy yielded the determined total flow rate. Note that this is an conservative estimate assuming steady state turbulent conditions which might not yet have established shortly after turning on the overhead stirrer. References: Flud mechanics and transfer processes, J.M. Kay, R.M. Nedderman, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1985.

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