Scale-up of microchannel reactors for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis

Soumitra R. Deshmukh, Anna Lee Y. Tonkovich, Kai T. Jarosch, Luke Schrader, Sean P. Fitzgerald, David R. Kilanowski, Jan J. Lerou, Terry J. Mazanec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


The scale-up of a microchannel reactor for Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis has been demonstrated at multiple scales using four reactors with different lengths and number of channels. An FT catalyst provided by Oxford Catalysts, Ltd. was tested in single channel microreactors with catalyst bed length ranging from ∼4 to ∼62 cm. The same catalyst was also tested in a pilot reactor with 276 parallel process channels (∼17 cm in length). Equivalent process performance was observed across each scale as determined by the metrics of CO conversion, selectivity to byproduct, and the chain growth probability (α). The overall C5+ productivity for these reactors of disparate scales spanned several orders of magnitude ranging from ∼0.004 gallons per day (GPD) to ∼1.5 GPD. The operational flexibility of these microreactors was illustrated by varying syngas feed composition and flow sheet conditions (pressure, temperature, dilution, etc.). The elusive premise of numbering up microchannels has been demonstrated, enabling the scale-up of reactor capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10883-10888
Number of pages6
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 3 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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