Tubular Reactor: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Choosing a safe, reliable, quality compliant and highly efficient tubular reactor can be an overwhelming task.

That’s why this guide answers all questions you have been asking about tubular reactor.

Whether you want to learn about the components, uses, efficiency or operation of tubular reactor, all information is in this guide.

Let’s dive right in.

Table of contents hide

What is a Tubular Reactor?

Tubular reactors are continuous flow vessels in steady state that you can use to mix different types of chemicals.

It depends on the function of the reactants position rather than the function of time to compete the chemical reactions.

Tubular reactor

 Tubular reactor

What is the Difference Between the Tubular Reactors and the Plug Flow Reactors?

You can also refer to the tubular reactor, as the plug flow reactor since it performs the same functions.

It consists of cylindrical pipes with an opening on both ends that allow the products and reactants to flow through.

How Many Phases Do the Tubular Reactors Have?

Tubular reactors are generally multi-phased with three or more phases for different chemical reactions.

You can also find tubular reactors that are single phased and will handle one particular product at a time.

Here are the main phases that you will find on the tubular reactors.

· Solid Phase

This phase consists of biomass or biomass aggregates that are immobilized on different carrier materials.

· Liquid Phase

You can have a tubular reactor with liquid phase consisting of water phase with pollutants or nutrients and other products.

· Gas Phase

This phase has the operation and design of two different phase systems such as a liquid – solid phase.

It is a considerably easy phase that you can employ for two phases rather than three phase reactions.

It is also the most considerable phase that you will use for different gases such as gas feed or air including CO2.

What are the Advantages of Using the Tubular Reactors?

Tubular reactors make the most convenient of reactors that you can employ in different applications.

Here are the main advantages of using the tubular reactors.

  • Easy to maintain and clean since it does not have any moving parts
  • It has a very simple mechanical design
  • It also exhibits very high conversion rates per volume of the reactors
  • The product quality is always very high and does nit vary
  • It also exhibits functions of low pressure drops
  • You can use it for the very large capacity processes
  • It is also perfect for the study of rapid reactions.
  • It has the best and most efficient mode for different reactor volumes

Do the Tubular Reactors Exhibit Any Limitations?

Yes, tubular reactors may also exhibit particular limitations that on the reaction processes.

Here are the main limitations that you should look out for.

 Tibular reactor

Tubular reactor

  • It is very difficult to control the temperatures of the reactors
  • In exothermic reactions, there is a possibility of hot spot developing
  • Due to the composition and temperature variations, it becomes very difficult to control the tubular reactors.

What are the Components of the Tubular Reactors?

Tubular reactors have different components that enable proper reaction within the reactors.

Hera are the main components that you will find in tubular reactors.

Electrochemical tubular reactor

Electrochemical tubular reactor

· Agitator or Stirrer

One of the most important components of the tubular reactor is the agitator or stirrer responsible for mixing different reactants.

· Tank

This is a long cylindrical tube-like tank that houses all the reactants reactions within the tubular reactor.

It is made of different materials which protect the inner chemical reactions from any external interferences.

· Inlet and Outlet Pipes

It also has a pipe on one end that feeds the tubular reactor with all the reactants known as the inlet pipe.

On the other end, we have a release pipe which eliminates the final product after a complete chemical reaction occurs.

· Control System

This type of reactor has a control system which you will use to control all the chemical reaction parameters on the device.

How Do the Tubular Reactors Work?

The tubular reactors work on the principle of continuous flowing systems in a cylindrical geometry.

Here is a brief explanation on how the tubular reactors work.

First you will introduce a fluid or fluids that you intend to mix with other reactants into the tubular reactor.

As the fluids of reactants flow through the tube or tank, there is a chemical reaction that takes place.

This will result in a concentration gradient known as an axial concentration gradient.

As that happens there are particular products that will not react during the reaction process.

On the other hand, there are reactants that will react during the reaction process to form homogenous mixtures.

As soon as the reaction is complete, unreacted products plus the homogenous mixtures will flow out of the tubular reactors.

The process is continuous and does not pose at any moment until you complete the entire reaction process.

What are the Applications of the Tubular Reactors?

You can use the tubular reactors in quite a number of applications in different industries.

It is the perfect reactor that you can use in both liquid or gas phase systems.

Here are the main industrial applications of the tubular reactors.

· Petroleum Industry

You will use the tubular reactors in the petroleum industry to produce gasoline and crack oil.

· Ammonia Synthesis

You will also employ the tubular reactor in the synthesis of ammonia from its different elements.

· Oxidation Process

You can also use the tubular reactors in the oxidation of sulfur dioxide to form sulfur trioxide.

What re the Uses of the Primary Gas Phase in Tubular Reactors?

You can use the primary gas phase in tubular reactors to perform the following activities or functions.

  • Large Scale Production of Different Gas Reactants
  • Fast Reactions
  • Homogenous Reactions
  • Heterogenous Reactions
  • Continuous Production Process
  • High Temperature Reaction Processes

What are the Benefits of the Primary Gas Phase in Tubular Reactors?

Well, there are quite a number of benefits that you will enjoy by using the primary gas phase.

Here are the main advantages of using the tubular reactors.

· Large Conversion Rates

Tubular reactors in the gas phase has very high conversion rates per unit volume

· Low Operation Cost

You will also spend less with the gas phase tubular reactants since it has lower cost of operations

· Continuous Operations

You will also use it in proper flow reactions since it exhibits continuous operation properties

· Perfect Heat Transfers

It has perfect transfer of heat thus reducing heat laden that might affect the entire tubular reactor process.

Are there Limitations of the Primary Gas Phase in Tubular Reactors?

Yes, you might also experience a few limitations when using the gas phase of the tubular reactors.

Here are some of the limitations that are associated with using the primary gas phase of tubular reactors.

· Existence of Thermal Gradients

You might experience situations with undesired thermal gradients while using the gas phase of tubular reactors.

· Poor Control of Temperature

It is not easy to have proper control over the temperature regimes of the tubular reactors in the gas phase.

· Expensive to Maintain

In case you have to clean the tubular reactors, you must shut it down thus wasting time.

In other words, the cleaning and maintenance process is often quite expensive.

How Much Do the Tubular Reactors Cost?

Tubular reactors are one of the most affordable types of reactors that you can use in different applications.

The price of the tubular reactors may, however, vary in terms of quality as well as quantity.

You will pay more for the high-quality tubular reactors since it uses very high-quality materials.

Of course, the greater the capacity or the higher the quantity of tubular reactors you purchase the higher the cost.

Generally, you will spend about 5,000 to 120,000 US Dollars to purchase the tubular reactors.

Which are the Best Materials for the Construction of the Tubular Reactors?

You can use different materials to construct the tubular reactors.

The main types of materials that you can use the tubular reactors include:

Tubular reactor system

Tibular reactor system

  • Cladding Materials
  • Austenitic Stainless-Steel Materials
  • Titanium Materials
  • Super Austenitic Stainless-Steel Materials
  • Nickel Alloys and Super-Alloy Materials
  • Duplex and Super duplex Stainless-Steel Materials

These are very strong materials that have very high tensile strength to withstand very high pressure.

Apart from that, you can use the above materials because they are corrosion resistant and do not rust.

You are sure of having durable and long-lasting tubular reactors that will serve you for a very long time.

What should you Consider when Choosing Tubular Reactor Design?

There are particular factors that you need to have under consideration when choosing a design for the tubular reactors.

Here are some of the factors that should help you make the right choice.

· Type of Materials

You will choose among the different types of materials available for making the tubular reactors.

Ensure that the materials have high tensile strength and can withstand corrosion among other properties.

· Dimensions of the Machine

Here, you will look at the size as well as the capacity of the tubular reactors that you would like to have.

You will then design your tubular reactor according to the right specifications that will fit your application needs.

· Type of Tubular Reactor

You will also have a closer look at the different types of tubular reactors available in the market.

You can opt for the tubular reactors with longer tubes or s series of other small tubes joined together.

· Temperature Variations

This factor will affect the choice of materials as you have to choose materials which can withstand high temperatures.

In other words, you must know the temperature range of your application requirements before you proceed.

How do you Increase the Service Lifespan of Tubular Reactor?

You can increase the service lifespan of the tubular reactors by doing proper maintenance of the tubular reactors.

It is important to have a proper maintenance schedule where you will clean and change the parts of the tubular reactors.

Modern tubular reactors have sensors that will assist in the prediction of the next maintenance period.

Apart from that, you need to maintain proper records on a daily basis on the performance of the tubular reactors.

In that case, you will be able to know when the right time comes for routine maintenance procedures.

Apart from that, these records will be an indication of how the tubular reactors perform.

In case of a reduction in the normal performance, you will be able to know that there is a problem to fix.

What’s more, conducting routine inspection on the machine will also help in identification of faults.

In case you identify a faulty part, you should repair it or replace the parts as soon as possible.

Can You Operate the Tubular Reactors Remotely?

Yes, you can easily control the tubular reactors from a remote location.

Modern tubular reactors have very high levels of technological advancements.

These technological developments will allow you to control the machine using a control panel.

In addition to that, the control panel has installations that can connect you to the machine from remote locations.

You can, therefore, go ahead and control your tubular reactants from a remote location.

How Do the Tubular Reactors Compare to the Continuous Reactors?

You can either use the tubular reactor of the continuous stirred tank reactor to mix ingredients.

Both of them have a jacketed tank and stirrer which assist in proper mixing of all the reactants.

In addition to that, you will use both types of reactors in continuous reactions.

Implying that the whole reaction process will continue while maintaining uniform reaction specifications.

One of the differences between the two is the fact that one is time reaction oriented while the other is position oriented.

Apart from that, tubular reactors work better and at a faster speed than the continuous reactors.

 Continous tibular reactor

Continuous tubular reactor

What is a Batch Reactor?

Batch reactors are systems or devices that you will use in mixing different chemical reactants in an enclosed vessel.

This type of reactor does not have continuous function thus where products flow continuously in and out of the vessel.

You cannot employ this type of reactor to achieve high cell density because it has solvent growth or inhibition.

It is also the simplest type of reactor that you will find in most of the laboratories due to low cost and ease of use.

 Batch reactor

Batch reactor

What are the Standard Specifications for Tubular Reactor?

You should make sure that your tubular reactors adhere to the highest quality standards in the world.

You can do that by ensuring that the tubular reactors adhere to the international quality standards such as:

  • ATEX Quality Certifications
  • International Standard Organization (ISO) Certification such as ISO 9001:2015
  • PED Quality Certifications
  • PARR Quality Certifications
  • CSA SMTC Quality Certifications
  • TPS Act Quality Certifications
  • CE Quality Certifications
  • ASME Quality Certification

As you can see, there are many factors you should consider when choosing tubular reactors.

At FilSon Filters, we design and manufacture a range of reactor systems such as chemical reactor and stirred reactors, alongside other valuable equipment

Contact us now for all your tubular reactor needs.

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