AM Technology, Runcorn, UK
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Flow Reactors for the Chemical Industry Versatile, Productive, Efficient

Pilot Scale — Coflore ATR

 

The Coflore ATR is an actively-mixed tubular flow reactor that employs the same mixing principles as the smaller ACR reactor.  The Coflore ATR operates from 0.35 L to 10 L in reactor volume, and has been developed for the pilot-scale production of material. Configured of up to eight reactor tubes in series, the ATR flow reactor exhibits excellent plug-flow, with experimental data demonstrating well-over 100 theoretical stages.  Each of the eight tubes can be heated or cooled independently of each other and reagents can be added (or samples removed) at each end of each reaction tube. 

The Coflore ATR can handle a wide range of reagent mixtures; even those with heavy slurries without blocking, making it ideal for a wide range of processes including hydrogenation, which can be fully-automated for ease-of-use and safety.

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

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

Features:

  • Reaction time from seconds to over 10 hours

  • Co-current and counter-current flow

  • Slurries, immiscible fluids and gas/liquid mixtures, as well as liquid-liquid

  • Plug flow equivalent to >100 stirred tanks in series (1 hour reaction time in <3 metres of tube)

  • Mass transfer rates 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than large batch reactors

  • Blending times 1-2 orders of magnitude faster than batch reactors

Video: Stirred horizontal tubes have inherent advantages over large stirred tanks for gas/liquid reactions due to the close proximity of the respective phases combined with high swept volumes. Improved mass transfer under continuous operation contributes to substantial reductions in plant footprint. Where reactions have competitive or consecutive effects, horizontal tubes can also contribute to improved purity and yield. Click on the video link to see how it works.

The Coflore ATR generates radial mixing with free moving mechanical stirrers.

The volumetric displacement of the mixer is less than 5% of the working volume but the swept volume is >80%. This design also eliminates the need for mechanical seals, rotating drive shafts and baffles. This makes the system simple, efficient and easy to clean.

The Coflore ATR offers outstanding plug flow characteristics:
  • Excellent residence time control

  • Optimum separation of reactants and products

  • Residence time flexibility from seconds to hours

  • Eliminates the need for long tubes

  • Eliminates the need for time consuming characterisation studies

Four residence times were investigated: 7, 14, 28, and 55 minutes. Each run achieved true plug flow (D/uL < 0.01). This proves that the use of radial mechanical agitation decouples plug flow from residence time (or fluid velocity). Additionally, in all cases steady state was reached after 1.3 reactor volumes. This increases residence time control and reduces waste upon start up and shutdown.