L-R: PhD students Silvio Curia (University of Nottingham), Andrea Muñoz García (University of York), and Sam Aworinde (University of Cambridge)
Samson Aworinde, a PhD student in the Sustainable Reaction Engineering group at CEB, recently won the second best poster prize at the 19th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference held in Washington DC, 14-16 July, 2015.
The poster presentation, titled “Reaction engineering concepts for selectivity improvement in partial oxidation of hydrocarbons”, included the modeling and simulation studies of a membrane microstructured reactor for the selective oxidation of o-xylene to phthalic anhydride (PA), an important chemical intermediate used for a wide range of applications. Increasing PA selectivity i.e. reducing the amount of by-products mainly CO2 in the process has the potential to bring considerable economic, process efficiency and environmental benefits to the petrochemical industry.The reactor concept, which integrated the benefits of a microreactor with a membrane for oxygen distribution, resulted in significantly improved PA selectivity compared to a conventional fixed-bed reactor operating under industrial conditions.