A Mathematical Model of a Slurry Reactor for the Direct Synthesis of Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide direct synthesis represents a green alternative to the conventional large-scale antraquinone process and offers a significant economic advantageous way of producing a compound which global demand is increasing more and more due to its several uses. However, the implementation of this process still faces important challenges regarding productivity, selectivity and safety of this, theoretically simple but practically not trivial, reaction. In principle, we can smartly implement a process if we deeply know how the system and the reaction proceed. In this perspective, the importance of modeling the process itself becomes clear, and that is the meaning of this work: to develop a mathematical model for hydrogen peroxide direct synthesis in a continuous catalytic three-phase reactor. In particular, fluid dynamic aspects of the system have been studied, along with kinetics and interphase mass exchange. In our conditions, the gas/liquid mass transfer was prevailing, thus the reactor was working in the convective mass transfer regime. Model equations have been written and implemented in order to lead different simulations and obtain a first dimensioning of the reactor. It should be underlined that the definition of a model can constitute a step forward the opening of the industrial world doors to the H2O2 direct synthesis, turning this process to an effective industrial production.