Spinning Disc Reactor

Spinning Disc Reactor

Author: ChemistryViews

Marco Meeuwse, John van der Schaaf and Jaap C. Schouten, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, have developed a unique chemical reactor. The multistage rotor-stator spinning disc reactor is a cylinder containing a rotor that increases the safety and efficiency of chemical production processes involving gases, liquids and solids through its very high mass transfer rate.

Gas is fed into the reactor through the floor of the cylinder, with the rotating disc located just above it. The gas bubbles are effectively sheared off by the high-speed flow of rotating liquid through which they pass. The higher the rotational speed, the smaller the bubbles and the larger the surface area, translating into a higher rate of reaction and mass transfer.

The scale up of the rotor-stator spinning disc reactor by stacking single stage rotor-stator units in series was demonstrated. Three discs with a diameter of 13 cm were mounted on a shared spindle in a cylinder. The gas-liquid mass transfer per stage is equal to the mass transfer in a single stage spinning disc reactor. An extra benefit is that the reactor is safer, because it is much smaller than conventional reactors; a big advantage in processes using hazardous substances.

This new reactor is particularly beneficial for the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries. Further development is currently in full swing. A major equipment manufacturer has become involved, and several chemical and pharmaceutical companies have also shown interest.

Image (C) Bart van Overbeeke


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