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Coflore ATR

Pilot / Production Scale Flow Reactor

The Coflore® Agitated Tube Reactor (ATR) is an actively mixed, tubular flow reactor operating from 0.35 L to 10 L in reactor volume, which has been developed for the multi-kilogram production of material at the pilot scale.

Configured of up to eight reactor tubes in series, with two reactor tube sizes of either 0.35 mL or 1.25 mL in volume available, the Coflore ATR flow reactor exhibits plug flow performance equivalent to many tens of CSTRs in series, with experimental data demonstrating well-over 100 theoretical stages.

Each of the eight reactor tubes can be heated or cooled independently of each other. Reagents can be added, and samples removed, at each end of each reaction tube, with up to 16 temperature measurement points available.

The Coflore ATR can process a wide range of single- and multi- phase reaction mixtures including dense slurries without blocking, making it ideal for such processes as hydrogenation and Grignard reactions. Solids-dosing to the reactor can be fully automated, without the need for pumps in the process lines, for added ease-of-use and safety.

For a 5-minute residence time, the 10 L Coflore ATR can continuously produce up to 120 L of material continuously per hour, or 2,880 L continuously per day.

The Coflore ATR is a productive, versatile, and efficient plug flow reactor. Its unique mixing characteristics stem from the use of radial mechanical stirring rather than passive or diffusive mixing. This approach decouples plug flow and mixing from residence time, to give very low dispersion numbers, fast blending, and high shear.

Coflore ATR Specifications:

  • Working volume: 350 mL to 10 L

  • Residence time: 10 seconds to >8 hours

  • Mixing (process side): Active mixing

  • Agitation speed: 2 – 9 Hz

  • Number of theoretical stages: >100

  • Reactor temperature: - 40 to 140 ˚C (200 ˚C optional)

  • Pressure: up to 50 Bar

  • Wetted materials: 316 Stainless steel or Hastelloy C276

  • Production scale: Multi-kilogram to multi-tonne

  • Throughput: 0.1 L/min to 30 L/min

  • Addition/sampling points: Up to 16, two for each reactor tube

  • Temperature monitoring: Up to 16 points, two for each reactor tube

  • Containment: Stainless steel cabinet with extractor connection

  • Data logging: Programmable process parameter recording

Coflore ATR Digital Version

(hover mouse over red dots for descriptions)

​Coflore ATR Features:

  • Reaction time from seconds to >8 hours

  • Compatible with all types of reaction media: liquid, liquid-liquid, solid-liquid, liquid-gas, and solid-liquid-gas, including dense slurries

  • Plug flow equivalent to >100 CSTRs in series

  • Constructed from 316 stainless steel, Hastelloy C276 or PTFE

Coflore ATR Reactor Tube (cut-away showing agitator)

Coflore ATR Reactor Tube Assembly with

Process Connections

Coflore ATR Reactor Tube Assembly 

8 x 1.25 L Reactor Tubes

Coflore ATR - A True Plug Flow Reactor

Plug flow (or orderly flow) describes a condition where fluid travels through and leaves a flow reactor in the same order that it enters it. It is a desirable feature in all flow processes.  For nth order and competitive reactions, it maintains an optimum separation of reactants and products to give improved yield, quality and reaction rate.  Even with zero order reactions plug flow contributes to smaller (and therefore cheaper) reactors since reacted material is not retained within the reactor.

The Coflore Agitated Tube Reactor (ATR) is a dynamically mixed tubular plug flow reactor. It employs dynamic transverse mixing (the mixer moves across the face of channel, which generates strong radial mixing, whilst inhibiting axial currents (axial currents are a major cause of back mixing with rotational stirring). Also, unlike rotating stirrers, Coflore transverse mixers do not require mechanical seals, drive shafts or baffles.

The ability to maintain plug flow and good mixing independently of fluid velocity in large tubes contributes to greater flexibility, since the residence time can be varied with minimal impact on reactor performance. It is also the key to scale up since short large diameter tubes are cheaper, have a lower pressure drop and are better able to handle two- and three- phase mixtures.

Coflore ATR Digital Control Features and Specifications​:

  • Temperature Display with up to 10 thermocouple inputs and 10 temperature displays

  • Programmable Alarm for high and low temperature set points

  • Ethernet Connection enabling remote control via PC

  • Start/Stop Agitation with 8 agitation frequencies: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 Hz

  • Remote DCS/PLC Interface for remote agitation control with local and remote emergency stop

  • Pump Control for up to 3 pumps via a 4 - 20 mA signal to include: start/stop, set point 0 - 100%, pump flow rate totaliser & automatic pump control

  • Actuated Valve Control for up to 2 actuated valves to include: open / close time & flow rate totaliser

  • 4 - 20 mA Input Monitoring for to 4 input signals measuring 4 - 20 mA from 0 - 100%

  • Data Logging for process monitoring & data export to MS Excel

  • ATEX certification and CFR21 compliance options available on request

ATR Technical Specifications​:

  • Maximum reactor mass: 120 kg

  • Agitating platform mass: 150 kg

  • Noise: < 70 dBA

ATR Dimensions:

  • Height:  1800 mm

  • Width:   1200 mm

  • Length:   780 mm

ATR Requirements:

  • Compressed air: 3-7 bar, 13 CFM oil free clean air

  • Maximum air pressure: 7 bar

  • Power supply: 1ph + N+E 100-240 VAC 50/60 Hz 2A

  • Compressed air connection: 10 mm push fit

  • Heat transfer fluid connections: ½” Swagelok

Hydrogenation in Flow

Catalytic hydrogenation remains a difficult process to manage using conventional batch equipment, largely due to the safety concerns and costs associated with processing hydrogen at high quantities and pressures when using large reaction vessels. Many safety concerns can be lessened or negated by switching to flow in the Coflore ATR.

Current issues with Hydrogenation:

  • Hazard handling of hydrogen in large volumes in batch

  • Use of pyrophoric catalysts

  • Use of flammable solvents

  • Hazardous components held at high temperatures and pressures for extended periods of time

  • Large head space of hydrogen (1000sL) in batch

  • Requires equipment compatible with multi-phase mixtures

 

Why go to Flow?

In flow, throughput is determined by flow rate rather than reactor size, meaning that flow reactors are far smaller than their equivalent batch counterparts. This is key, as it minimises the amount of hydrogen in the system down to a few litres (comparable to lab scale), essentially eliminating risk, vastly reducing costs and any classical difficulties traditionally associated with hydrogenation in batch.

The Coflore ATR uses an innovative dynamically-mixed system which offers the following advantages:

  • No mechanical seals

  • No shaft-driven agitators

  • Solids always kept suspended

  • Gases thoroughly dispersed

  • Large diameter tubes

  • Wide range of possible residence times (seconds to hours)

  • Simple operation and maintenance

  • No solids build-up, fouling or blocking

  • Low overall maintenance requirement over long periods

Hydrogenation in the Coflore ATR is achieved using novel counter-current slurry to gas flow method. This is a core function of the Coflore ATR in hydrogenation as maintaining a uniform gas-liquid distribution is paramount for this process. Gas presence throughout the system is advantageous in providing efficient performance, and the Coflore ATR does this by flowing the hydrogen gas bottom-up.

 

The gas and slurry are only in contact within the reactor for a short period of time relative to current batch methods, reducing the active inventories of flammable or explosive components. This reduces safety management requirements and costs, and creates critical advantages for the Coflore ATR system over batch processing. Separation of the catalyst solid from the solvent/product mixture can be achieved quickly and easily without a filter at the reactor outlet, as can final product isolation.

1200 mm

780 mm

1800 mm

1700 mm

Coflore ATR Product Brochure

The Coflore® ATR Product Brochure

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The Coflore® ATR Accessories Brochure

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AM Technology, Cheshire, UK
robert.field@amt.uk
+44 1928 237420