A New Approach for Scale-Up of Bubble Column Reactors


The reactor of choice for the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis is a slurry bubble column. One of the few disadvantages of bubble columns is the difficulties associated with their scale-up. The latter is due to complex phases' interactions and significant back-mixing.For a proper scaling dimensionless numbers should be kept constant in the various scales in order to ensure both dynamic and geometrical similarity. With the complex nature of the flow in these systems, this becomes very hard to achieve. Hence, innovative approaches to provide a firm scale-up methodology are needed.Controlling the effect of scale using heat exchanging internals by means of reactor compartmentalization is proposed in this study. Preliminary results show that radial gas holdup profiles as well as other bubble dynamics inside the compartments exhibited similar behavior as inside a solid wall column, since the comparison between the single tube bundle compartment and data obtained in 6 inches steel bubble column shows good match.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Keywords and Phrases

Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis; Hydrodynamics; Bubble Column Reactors; Bubble Dynamics; Compartmentalization; Dimensionless Number; Innovative Approaches; Internals; Scale-Up; Slurry Bubble Column; Bubble Columns

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2014 Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2014