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Title: Application of the spinning mesh disc reactor for process intensification
Author: Shivaprasad, Parimala
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 8497
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2019
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Conventional chemical processing methods are challenged by inefficient process scale-up resulting in high energy consumption and waste generation. Process intensification (PI) is a promising solution to enable a quantifiable change in reaction engineering through development of novel reactors and/or processing methods. The spinning mesh disc reactor (SMDR) is an innovative catalytic reactor and has so far shown to intensify enzymatic reactions in an aqueous medium. The aim of this research is to further extend the application of the SMDR, by evaluating a range of reaction systems of commercial importance and currently challenging to scale-up using traditional reactors. Three main reaction systems have been reported in the present study: (i) nitroaldol (Henry) reaction (metal catalyst-organic solvent), (ii) kinetic resolution of a racemic alcohol (lipase catalystorganic solvent) and (iii) solar light driven photo-oxidation (photocatalyst-aqueous system). The SMDR was first investigated for Henry reaction using copper triflate immobilised on wool. A maximum conversion of 93% was achieved at the end of 5 hours in the SMDR with an improved reaction rate compared to the batch system. The application of the reactor was then extended for kinetic resolution of racemic 1-phenyethanol using an inexpensive amano lipase immobilised on wool as a catalyst. The productivity in the SMDR using the lipase catalyst cloth increased by 30% compared to the reaction in batch and the throughput was also successfully scaled up in the reactor without a loss in the reaction efficiency. Two different routes to SMDR scale-up was investigated using the above optimised reaction systems and results showed an improved reaction rate with either an increase in cloth size or cloth number. A further improvement in rate was observed with multiple cloths of increasing cloth diameters at higher substrate concentration. The last part of the research work presented was carried out at TU Eindhoven, where a modification of the SDR, the rotor-stator spinning disc reactor (rs-SDR) was used to investigate solar light photocatalytic reaction. The reactor was used to demonstrate the proof of concept for a multi-phase, photocatalytic oxidation of L-methionine using methylene blue catalyst. The reactor performance was characterised based on its flow regimes and the productivity in the reactor was found to be four times higher compared to the batch reactor. Overall, to the best of the author's knowledge, this is the first study which has reported the use of a novel catalytic reactor for intensification of organic, biochemical and photocatalytic transformations of commercial importance, hence demonstrating the reactor's potential for enabling process scale-up at a pilot scale.
Supervisor: Jones, Matthew ; Patterson, Emma Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available