Modeling of bubble column slurry reactor for reductive alkylation of p-phenylenediamine

Amit S. Chaudhari, Mohan R. Rampure, Vivek V. Ranade*, Rengaswamy Jaganathan, Raghunath V. Chaudhari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


A bubble column slurry reactor (BCSR) model has been developed for the reductive alkylation of p-phenylenediamine (PPDA) with methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) to N, N-di-secondary-alkyl-p-phenylenediamine (Di-amine). This particular reaction system is commercially relevant and involves a combination of parallel and consecutive reactions comprising equilibrium non-catalytic (homogeneous) and catalytic (heterogeneous) steps. The proposed model is based on the 'mixing cell approach'. In this work the mixing cell approach has been extended by including a liquid backflow stream from all but the bottommost mixing cell. The model incorporates the contributions of gas-liquid and liquid-solid mass transfer, heat effects, and complex multistep reaction kinetics. CFD model is used to estimate the extent of backflow among mixing cells and its dependence on operating parameters. The effect of gas and liquid velocities, catalyst loading, inlet PPDA concentration, and temperature on the conversion, selectivity, global rate of hydrogenation, and temperature rise is discussed. The comparison of the current approach with the traditional mixing cell model is discussed. The BCSR model presented here will be useful to provide guidelines for designing and improving overall performance of bubble column reactors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7290-7304
Number of pages15
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bubble columns
  • CFD
  • Kinetics
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Reductive alkylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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