Published December 2007
This review presents a discussion of major design considerations and process parameters that are important for the design of a Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) reactor. Three types of reactor have been considered — fixed-bed, slurry-bed, and fixed fluidized-bed. Main emphasis is on the first two types of reactors that are suitable for wax and diesel production. Reactors in the third category are useful for gasoline and olefins production. All said reactors are in the commercial use today.
Crucial considerations in reactor selection and reactor design are: type of desired F-T products, functional characteristics and scalability of reactors, source and composition of syngas, process conditions (temperature, pressure, gas space velocity, syngas composition, etc), catalyst composition and physical characteristics, catalyst deactivation, catalyst loading, physical properties of the reaction medium (viscosity, density, thermal conductivity, surface tension, reactants diffusivity, mass- and heat-transfer coefficients, dispersion coefficients, etc) and layout of the reactor internal components. The Review describes the effects of the abovementioned reaction system variables on the parametric properties of reactor vessel (reactor height, reactor diameter, cooling coil size, reactor loop configuration, etc).
All cited values of parameters are extracted from the patents or technical articles. Values are given in numeric terms and complex computational formulae, which are normally presented in technical articles for estimative or predictive purpose, have been avoided. Wherever necessary, a detailed description of the parameters is also given.