Microfibrous Entrapment Technology
Microfibrous entrapment enables catalytic and sorptive processes to occur more efficiently than previously imagined or commercially practiced by enhancing physical rate phenomena. Microfibrous entrapped catalysts (MFEC) and microfibrous entrapped sorbents (MFES) consist of porous, high-surface-area particles immobilized in nonwoven media made from micron-diameter metal fibers. The fiber diameters for microfibrous entrapment typically range from 2 to 25 microns and entrapped particle diameters typically range from 40 to 300 microns.
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How Does Microfibrous Entrapment Work?
MFECs and MFESs provide increased efficiency by enhancing physical rate phenomena that are commonly limited on the micron scale in reactive processes. The catalyst/sorbent particles used in MFECs and MFESs are significantly smaller than the extrudates (1.6-5 mm) widely used in industry, allowing intraparticle resistances to be minimized. The high void fraction of the microfibrous media allows these improvements to be realized with a lower pressure drop than in a packed bed. External mass and heat transfer characteristics are also enhanced in MFECs and MFESs because the micron-diameter fibers dominate the flow pattern, especially at low Reynolds numbers, producing conditions analogous to a frozen fluidized bed. MFECs and MFESs share the advantages of fluidized beds in terms of improved mass and heat transfer; however, MFEC and MFES systems are fixed beds, so the process disadvantages of fluidized beds are avoided.