Designing reverse-flow packed bed reactors for stable treatment of volatile organic compounds

Document Type


Publication Date



Reverse-flow packed bed reactors can be used to treat gaseous pollutants from chemical plants. This article describes the design and operation of a modified reverse-flow reactor (MRFR) which has a recuperator on each end of the reactor and a reaction zone in the middle. The recuperators have low thermal dispersion and the reaction zone has a high thermal dispersion, obtained by placing metal inserts into the bed, parallel with the gas flow. Performance of the MRFR during extended lean and rich conditions is determined with analytical analysis and compares well with numerical simulations of CO oxidation; however, the theory is expected to be useful for any reaction kinetics. A major advantage of this MRFR design is an extended time for the reactor to extinguish during lean conditions. This work also describes MRFR performance with internal reactor cooling, which can be used as a control mechanism to maintain reactor temperature for proper removal of volatile organic compounds. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Journal of Environmental Management