Washington University in St. Louis School of Engineering & Applied Science, Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, Chemical Reaction Engineering Laboratory
Brauer Hall, Campus Box 1180, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63130
Phone:             (314) 935-5548


Trickle Bed Reactor Laboratory
CREL-XYTEL Kinetic Study Unit (XYCREL)
6 Inch Bubble Column
8  Inch Bubble Column
18  Inch Bubble Column
Packed Bed & Basket Reactors
Tubular Capillary Reactor
Analytical Equipments
The 4 Point Optical Probe
Conductivity Probe
Gas Analyzers
Optical Oxygen Probe
The 4 point optical probe can be used to determine the local gas holdup, the distribution of bubble diameter, bubble velocity vector, bubble chord length, and the gas-liquid interfacial area at different operating conditions in gas-liquid and gas-liquid-solid systems.
  • The conductivity probe can be used for determination of the residence time distribution of the liquid phase using an electrolyte tracer

  • This device is used for the measurement of the concentration of different components in the gas phase. It can be used to determine the resindence time distributionof the gas phase. The two types that we use are:

  • Total Hydrocarbon Analyzer: Continous monitoring of hydrocarbons, CO, CO2 in gas streams.

  • Thermal Conductivity Detector: Very broad range of applications: Helium in air, Helium in N2, Freon in air, N2 in air, and many other applications
This probe is used for the measurement of the oxygen concentration in the liquid and gas phases. It can be used to determine the residence time distribution of oxygen in water and in air in order to quantify the values of the overall mass transfer coefficient (kLa) of oxygen in multiphase reactors.
  • Manual for the mass tranfer probe
  • Catalogue of the mass transfer probe
Heat Transfer Probe
Gas Chromatographs
This probe is used to determine the wall to gas-liquid mixture heat transfer coefficient.

  • FID, PID, and ELCD detectors
  • Differential Refractormeter
  • Mass Spectrometer
  • High pressure 6" steel bubble column equipped with internals (5%)
  • 8" plexiglas bubble column equipped with fiber glass internals (5% and 22%)
  • 18" plexiglas bubble column equipped with  PVC internals (5% and 25%)
  • 2D bubble column equipped with a 4 point optical probe and CCD camera
Gas-Solid & Liquid-Solid Risers
2D Bubble Column
Parr Stirred Tank Recator
Packed Bed Reactor
Liquid -Solid Riser
Gas -Solid Riser
  • Six inch diameter and 9 ft high liquid-solid riser facility is available for hydrodynamics studies.
  • A six inch diameter, 30 ft tall gas-solid riser
High pressure/high temperature packed bed facility
  • This laboratory consists of high pressure, atmospheric and high temperature facilitiesfor studies of reactions, hydrodynamic parameters and catalyst wetting efficiency.

  • The high pressure trickle-bed reactor facility can be operated up to 1000 psig
Flow distribution measurement system
  • The  trickle-bed reactors facility consist of 1 inch, 3 inch and 5-5/8 inch diameter reactors.
CREL-Xytel unit
Instrumentation and components of
CREL-Xytel unit
  • This reactor system consists of two separate systems which can be operated in parallel or combined into a single system.

  • Each system can deliver up to five gases to the reactor zone.
  • This system can handle pressures up to 60 atm.

  • Data acquisition and control hardware is interfaced using a VB program developed specifically for the CREL-XYTEL unit.
Mini-Packed Bed Reactor System
High pressure autoclave facility
  • Titanium mini-packed bed reactors  (5 and 50 ml)  eqipped with a temperature control system.
  • Autoclave (1 liter) and atmospheric/high temperature (2 liters) slurry and basket reactors systems for kinetics studies and catalyst evaluation.
Tubular capillary reactor
Tubular capillary reactor
  • Two stainless steel capillary reactors (D=0.762 mm and D=2.159 mm) and Lenght ~30 m
  • Maximum temperature ~ 200ºC and maximum pressure ~ 10,000 psi.
Parr® reactor
  • This Hastalloy C stirred tank reactor has volume of 25 ml, maximum pressure of 3,000 psi and heater that can provide temperature up to 3500C.
  • It can operate either in batch or semi-batch mode.
  • A laboratory scale packed bed reacto is equipped with a furnace and temperature control

  • Mainly used for catalyst testing
Conductivity probe in action
  • It can also be used to estimate to estimate the extent of liquid mixing in multiphase reactors