Pressure Drop in Packed Bed Reactors: Summary

The answers to the ConcepTests are given below and will open in a separate window. 
Key points from this module:
  • For the same flow rate, the pressure drop increases as the particle size in a packed bed decreases. 
  • As the inlet volumetric flow rate increases, the pressure drop increases.
  • As the pressure drops in a packed bed, the volumetric flow rate increases for a gas-phase reaction.
  • The Ergun equation can be used to calculate pressure drop in a packed bed for either laminar or turbulent flow.
  • For a gas-phase reaction with positive order, pressure drop decreases conversion because it decreases the time reactants spend in the reactor.
From studying this module, you should now be able to:
  • Calculate the pressure drop in a packed bed reactor.
  • Explain how pressure drop affects the rate of reaction in a packed bed.
  • Explain how volumetric flow rate and particle size in a packed bed affects pressure drop.