The best renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms have experts in a wide variety of bioeconomy specialties, including microchannel reactors. (They should also be able to provide clients project expertise and be available as expert witnesses in matters like aquaculture, biochemicals, bio-fertilizers, bio-fibers, biomass-to-sugars, bioplastics, catalysis, cellulose, enzymes, food ingredients, biogas production and biogas upgrading, gas to liquids (GTL), industrial chemicals, latex, lubricants, nanocarbons, neutraceuticals, organometallics, polymers, renewable chemicals, rubber, and solvents).
Microchannel Reactors are reactors in which the cross section of the reaction channel is small, typically less than an inch or less than twenty millimeters, although some are as small as a few millimeters. The reaction channels are interweaved in an alternating pattern with heat removal or heat production channels, much like gas to gas heat exchangers. The narrow cross section of the process channels provides enhanced capability for heat transfer from a hot fluid to the reactants or from the reactants to a cooler heat exchange fluid. The reactant channels can be coated with catalyst or can be packed with heterogeneous catalyst or the catalyst can be homogeneously distributed in the reactant phase. Microchannel reactors can be used for processes that involve the conversion of gases or liquids, and either gases or liquids can be used as the heat transfer fluid. The short path from the fluid to the walls of the microchannel increases the likelihood of reactant molecules contacting the wall, and thus reacting on a coated catalyst or transferring heat. The result is increased reaction rate or heat transfer rate per volume of reactor. Microchannel reactors are most advantageous for processes that require high reaction rates or highly exothermic reactions or highly endothermic reactions. Processes for which microchannel reactors have been developed include exothermic oxidations such as vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) production, ethane oxidation to ethylene, toluene oxidation to benzoic acid or benzaldehyde, or formaldehyde production, and exothermic reactions such as steam methane reforming, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, methanol synthesis, hydrocracking, ammonia synthesis, water gas shift reaction (WGSR), or higher alcohol synthesis. Microchannel reactors are particularly suited to small scale use in biogas upgrading, natural gas upgrading on FPSOs (floating production storage and offloading platforms), or in tight quarters in refineries or chemical plants.
An expert is a person who by virtue of his or her knowledge, experience, education, training, and skills has special knowledge of a particular subject that is not known to the general public. Some experts are hired purely as consultants to assist a party or attorney in better understanding the technical or scientific matters at hand. Others are truly hired as “expert witnesses” to both assist a party or attorney in better understanding the matters at hand and to testify in the legal proceeding. Some experts are hired to assist with a determination of exactly what happened and who was at fault. Others are hired to assist with determining the damages that occurred. Many are hired to help support both issues.
While a judge makes the ultimate determination of as to whether one qualifies as an expert and can testify as such, the jury is normally free to decide how much weight and credibility to give the expert’s opinion. Thus, it is very important to choose an expert with not only the proper credentials, but also one who can effectively translate complex, technical matters into terms that juries can easily understand. At Lee Enterprises Consulting, our experts are the top specialists in their fields. Testifying as an expert is only a small part of our experts’ professional work. We have generalized training for all our experts that we refer as expert witnesses, making sure they understand their role in a proceeding and can check for conflicts prior to engagement. We stress the importance of Daubert qualification and the relationship they need to have with the hiring attorneys. For a full discussion on expert witnesses and hiring those in the bioeconomy, see our two articles: “The Expert Witness in Biofuels and Biochemicals Litigation” and “Hiring An Expert Witness in The Bioeconomy”. We also have highly qualified experts available to assist you with any bioeconomy related matter. Feel free to call or email us for more information.