Comparison between the performances of a fluidized-bed reactor and a fixed-bed reactor for the oxidation of benzene to maleic anhydride


Abstract: The selective oxidation of benzene to maleic anhydride (MAN) was studied to compare the performances of fluidized-bed and fixed-bed reactors. The gas-phase catalytic oxidation of benzene was carried out in laboratory-scale fluidized-bed and fixed-bed reactors with a vanadium pentoxide catalyst supported by silica gel. The influences of parameters such as temperature, space time, and air-to-benzene molar ratio on the reaction selectivity were investigated at normal atmospheric pressure. Similar operating conditions were provided in the experiments carried out in both reactors. Because of the limitations of the experimental sets-up and the recommended operating conditions given in the literature, some differences could be seen between the reactors. It was observed that the conversion of benzene to MAN increased with increasing temperature in both reactors. It was further found that both the conversion of benzene to MAN (x_1) and the total conversion of benzene (x_T) also increased with increasing air-to-benzene molar ratios. This study demonstrates the availability of the 2 reactors for the oxidation reaction of benzene to MAN.

Keywords: Gas-phase oxidation, benzene, maleic anhydride, fixed-bed reactor, fluidized-bed reactor

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