Catalyst and Hardware Selection
Within the scope of conventional distillation, the optimum choice of internals is sometimes difficult, even in the area of packing because of the large variety that exists. For reactive distillation with catalytic packing, there are only a couple of alternatives. The major task of catalytic packing structures is to ensure an adequate contact between catalyst surface and liquid phase. Alternative catalyst carriers are given by catalyst coated/impregnated random packing materials, catalysts wrapped in fabric, and various methods of placing the catalyst in tray columns. An evident requirement in catalyst selection is a fairly long lifetime since the entire catalytic structure has to be removed during catalyst replacement. For some processes, external reactors may be a promising alternative.
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