Rotating bed reactors in comparison with standard column

A frequently asked question is how the rotating bed reactor (RBR) differs from a column (packed bed reactor) system and which one performs better. Since the two systems work inherently different, a hypothesis is that the fairest performance test between the two technologies is to set a common desired endpoint and see which technology that complete the experiment first.

The best-in-class standard protocols for the RBR and column, respectively was used, to see which one that deionised water fastest.

Deionisation of 1000 L tap water

A deionisation of tap water experiment was performed to compare the performance between a column system and the RBR S5 in the ProRBR IBC add-on. The column and RBR was packed with 4L of Lanxess Lewatit® NM 60 and deionised 1000 L of tap water each.

The output of the column was used as the desired endpoint value, since it is less flexible than RBR. Thus, the question becomes if the RBR can deionise to the same level as the column in a shorter time. The column was run at a flow rate of 1.8 L/min and the RBR was run at 300 rpm, a standard rpm for the RBR S5.

The results below are clear which technology is a winner in this experiment.

The column needed 556 minutes to process 1000 L of tap water and reach an endpoint conductivity value of about 0.15 μS/cm. The RBR only needed 150 minutes to reach the same value, i.e. 3.7 times faster than the column. Adding an extra 60 minutes and the RBR reached a conductivity value of 0.02 μS/cm.


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