Radial Flow Reactor Internals
Radial flow pattern is an internals layout which allows the flow direction to be perpendicular to the vessel axis. The active bed features an annular shape where the flow is crossing its thinner width. Therefore, the pressure drop through the bed is very low. This is perfect design for gas flow processes.
Flow is distributed and collected by filtering elements located on each side of the active bed centerpip e/ inner screen on the inside, scallops / outer screens / NEW SSR Flow on the outer. Distance between both filtering elements is covered by cover deck. Radial flow rate at different elevation has to be identical in order to sustain the performance of the unit.
Major benefit of radial flow pattern is the huge flow capacity under very low pressure drop. It is a cost effective solution when catalyst activity is high and compression rates are expensive. Pressure vessel diameter can be reduced to the condition that contact time and overall distribution are matched.
It has the possibility withstand elevated temperatures as the internal arrangement can cope with differential thermal expansion.
Catalyst can easily be drawn off the bottom of its annular bed, thus giving an easy possibility for continuous catalyst circulation. However, much care has to be taken during catalyst loading and further operation in order to avoid the possibility of uneven flow distribution with bed by-passing and channelling.
Radial flow technology is applied by several process licensors and engineering companies: Lummus Technology, Shaw Group, Dow, Polimeri Europa, Haldor Topsoe, Amonia Casale, Uhde, Toyo, JMC Catalyst, Axens, UOP, Chevron.