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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Catalyst Stability Assessment in a Lab-Scale Liquid-Solid (LS)² Plug-Flow Reactor

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Laboratory for Chemical Technology (LCT), Department of Materials, Textiles, and Chemical Engineering, Ghent University, Technologiepark 125, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
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Industrial Catalysis and Adsorption Technology (INCAT), Department of Materials, Textiles, and Chemical Engineering, Ghent University, Valentin Vaerwyckweg 1, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2019, 9(9), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9090755
Received: 16 August 2019 / Revised: 30 August 2019 / Accepted: 4 September 2019 / Published: 8 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reactors and Models in Catalysis)
A packed-bed plug-flow reactor, denoted as the lab-scale liquid-solid (LS)² reactor, has been developed for the assessment of heterogeneous catalyst deactivation in liquid-phase reactions. The possibility to measure intrinsic kinetics was first verified with the model transesterification of ethyl acetate with methanol, catalyzed by the stable commercial resin Lewatit K2629, for which a turnover frequency (TOF) of 6.2 ± 0.4 × 10−3 s−1 was obtained. The absence of temperature and concentration gradients was verified with correlations and experimental tests. The potential for assessing the deactivation of a catalyst was demonstrated by a second intrinsic kinetics evaluation where a methylaminopropyl (MAP)-functionalized mesoporous silica catalyst was used for the aldol reaction of acetone with 4-nitrobenzaldehyde in different solvents. The cooperative MAP catalyst deactivated as a function of time on stream when using hexane as solvent. Yet, the monofunctional MAP catalyst exhibited stable activity for at least 4 h on stream, which resulted in a TOF of 1.2 ± 0.1 × 10−3 s−1. It did, however, deactivate with dry acetone or DMSO as solvent due to the formation of site-blocking species. This deactivation was mitigated by co-feeding 2 wt % of water to DMSO, resulting in stable catalyst activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: continuous-flow reactor; catalyst deactivation; aldol reaction; transesterification continuous-flow reactor; catalyst deactivation; aldol reaction; transesterification
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De Vylder, A.; Lauwaert, J.; Van Auwenis, S.; De Clercq, J.; Thybaut, J.W. Catalyst Stability Assessment in a Lab-Scale Liquid-Solid (LS)² Plug-Flow Reactor. Catalysts 2019, 9, 755.

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