Acquisition of improved batch reactor data for hydrocracking catalyst development

S. A. Ali*, M. E. Biswas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


Small-scale testing is inevitable during catalyst development programs. In several cases, > 1 type of reactor is required to obtain information on all aspects of the catalyst's performance and process parameters. Batch autoclave reactors are appropriate for studying the highly exothermic hydrocracking reactions under isothermal conditions. However, non-catalytic thermal cracking reactions also takes place along with the catalytic hydrocracking reactions, and they chemically interact by sequential hydrogenation and thermal scission. Another limitation in studying the hydrocracking of heavy oil in batch reactors is the insufficient macroscopic mixing of catalyst, feedstock, and hydrogen. Various improvements made in the reactor configuration and procedures to minimize such thermal cracking reactions and improve the macroscopic mixing and microscopic diffusion were described. These include premixing of feedstock and catalyst particles, installation of a stainless steel mesh along the impeller's length, and reduction of reaction time. These improvements suppressed thermal cracking and secondary reactions resulting in a reliable method for rational screening and ranking of semi-developed catalysts. The batch reactor data was used for hydrocracking catalyst development.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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