Batch to Continuous Technology
Robinson Brothers is working with AM Technology on a feasibility project, for which, funding was attained from the UK Technology Strategy Board on taking a catalytic hydrogenation process that has been done batch wise for the last 20 years through to continuous flow. Once the technology has been proven on hydrogenations and scaled up, the technology will be used on other chemical processes at Robinson Brothers.
AM Technology's Coflore reactor is ideal for Robinson Brothers as it handles slurries, immiscible liquids, gas-liquid mixtures and high viscosity fluids. It offers high mixing efficiency and good plug flow for reaction times from a few seconds to many hours. Pressure drop is typically less than 1% of a tubular reactor under comparable conditions. It is also suitable for co-current and counter current processes.
The Coflore design employs a patented mixing technique where free moving agitators within each reaction stage promote mixing when the reactor body is subjected to lateral shaking. This generates intense mixing without the need for rotating shafts, mixing baffles or mechanical seals. Problems of centrifugal separation (when two phases are present) are also eliminated.
Plug flow and mixing remain substantially constant with scale-up. This simplifies process development and provides a high level of certainty that scaled up processes will deliver comparable performance.
Coflore reactors are multi-stage flow reactors that deliver good plug flow and mixing over a wide range operating conditions. They are available in a range of sizes from laboratory to industrial scale.