Capillary flow is often occurring in natural and technical systems. Due to small diameter channels, laminar flow is established, while heat transfer is high from large specific surface area. For chemical reactions, good mixing and a narrow residence time distribution are important for high selectivity and yield. To improve mixing and residence time distribution, several measures of bend flow, helical arrangements and curved capillaries are proposed in literature. This contribution describes the flow, residence time distribution, and its influence on chemical reactions in short helical, alternating reactor capillaries (SHARC). The influence of the number of bends between alternating coils on the residence time distribution is described for different capillary and coil diameter, coil length and flow rate in laminar regime. The residence time distribution is a good measure for axial mixing and dispersion, while the heat transfer is mainly affected by the flow rate. The SHARC device was built from polymer capillaries of fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP, inner diameter of 0.38 and 0.75 mm) with high mechanical flexibility for bending and good chemical resistance. Despite of low heat conductivity of the wall material, volumetric heat transfer coefficients of more than 5 MW/m3K were measured in a water bath. A highly exothermic reaction with adiabatic temperature increase of more than 100 K could be operated without detecting reaction runaway.

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