Paper presented at the 9th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Malta, 16-18 July, 2012.
A multi-functional heat exchanger reactor (HEX) with 16 mini channels in parallel is designed, fabricated and tested. Two fluids are divided into 16 channels through distributor, then contacted at T-mixers, and finally collected. Both distributor and collector are designed following the arborescent shape. Expected advantage of using this mini HEX reactor include but not confined to: compact size, effective and fast mixing, low pressure drop, efficient and controlled heat remove/supply, easy numbering-up potential, safety, etc.
The internal fluid body is numerically analyzed using CFD approach (ANSYS Fluent) to test the flow distribution uniformity. Results show that for Reynolds number ranging from 8 to 95, good distribution uniformity (maldistribution less than 1.5 %) can be obtained. To test the mixing performance of the mini HEX reactor, Iodide-iodine reaction (Villermaux-Dushman) has been carried out. Experimental results show a good mixing at molecule scale as the flow rate increases and impingement enhanced. The design of multichannel reactor with arborescent distributing and collecting networks makes possible the numbering-up of multiple channels and thus the application of mini reactor in industry.