THESIS BY Charles Bonnin*

An essential phase in the development of catalytic materials is the assessment of their efficiency, generally performed in the laboratory on specific equipment.

For catalysts intended for slurry applicationa, continuous three-phase (gas-liquid-solid) stirred tank reactors are used. These are complex to operate and require a long testing phase (sometimes lasting several weeks) to access data such as the catalyst selectivity. This experimental difficulty, not to mention the cost, is an obstacle to the development of new materials.

In this context, high-throughput experimentation (HTE) in micro packed bed reactor is a screening method offering three advantages:

  • direct comparison of the efficiency of several catalysts in identical conditions,
  • use of small quantities of substance,
  • and short test times.

However, the conditions specific to HTE make it necessary to reconsider the physical models used to analyze the results and, in particular, to determine the activity of the catalyst on the basis of measurement of the conversion rate.


Chargement des réacteurs sur un équipement EHD.
Loading of reactors on HTE equipment.

The research therefore focused,

  • firstly, on understanding the physics inside HTE reactors(1-2), followed by their integration into a numerical model,
  • and, secondly, on a series of experiments with the two types of equipment.

The model developed, which combines hydrodynamic and reactional aspectsmakes it possible to directly access the activity of catalysts and to find the same efficiency classification in both types of reactor, thereby validating the new HTE methodology.

The resulting time savings for the development of catalysts is a major advantage for the exploration of more disruptive formulations.

a- Micrometric-sized catalyst suspension in a liquid phase.

Thesis entitled "Assessment of the high throughput approach in micro packed bed for the Fischer Tropsch catalyst screening"

(1) C. Bonnin, L. Brunet-Errard, D. Decottignies, V. Ordomsky, A. Khodakov, International conferences on Microreaction Technology, Beijing, 2016

(2) C. Bonnin, L. Brunet-Errard, D. Decottignies, E. Rosenberg, V. Ordomsky, A. Khodakov, « Microfl uidics: from laboratory tools to process development », Rueil-Malmaison, France, November 2015

Scientific contact: charles.bonnin@ifpen.fr