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 a catalyst or packed with a 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 an increased reaction rate or heat transfer rate per volume of the reactor. Microchannel reactors are most advantageous for processes that require high reaction rates, highly exothermic reactions, or highly endothermic reactions. Operations 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.
The expert witness in litigation involving microchannel reactors is a very specialized role with a select group of professionals. At Lee Enterprises Consulting we have experts in virtually every area of the bioeconomy, most of whom have experience as expert witnesses. As with any good expert witness, our specialists always provide impartial and unbiased results. Each of our experts has undergone a short in-house training as to their role in litigation and is familiar with Daubert standards and the rules of evidence and civil procedure, prior to accepting employment, we make certain that the experts have the specialization necessary and have done a complete check for any possible conflicts.
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