Structured mini/micro-scale reactors continue to receive attention from both industry and academia due to their low pressure drop, high mass transfer rates and ease of scale-up when compared to conventional reactor technology. Commonly considered for heat and mass transfer limited reactions such as hydrogenations, hydrodesulphurization, oxidations and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, the performance of these systems is highly dependent on mixing and the interfacial area between phases. While existing literature describes the initial flow patterns generated by a broad range of two-phase contactors, few studies explore the dynamic impacts of downstream passive mixing elements. Experimental and computational methodologies for characterizing two-phase flow pattern transitions, pressure drop, mixing and mass transfer are discussed, with relevant examples for serpentine and venturi-based passive mixing designs. The efficacy of these two configurations are explored in the context of pressure drop, conditions leading to significant interface renewal, and design considerations for optimizing mass transfer. Challenges associate with the characterization of multiphase flow through these systems are highlighted, and strategies suggested for both experimental and computational analysis of dynamic flow patterns and fluid-fluid interactions.

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