Optimization of Process Parameters of Photocatalytic Process Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
Although the titanium dioxide photocatalysis is advantageous over other conventional techniques, and extensive laboratory research has been done in this field, there are several challenges preventing the development of this technology to the commercial scale. It is a complicated task to model, simulate, design and optimize a photocatalytic reactor as it involves simultaneous processes of fluid flow, momentum transfer, mass transfer, reaction kinetics, and radiation distribution along with other conventional reactor complications such as reactant-catalyst contact time, temperature control, and catalyst installation etc. A dearth of modeling and simulation strategies for evaluating such complex systems, and lack of adequate scale-up methods is a huge restriction in the commercialization of photocatalytic reactors. An effectual approach to solve the issue is the application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The present research deals with application of CFD for developing a CFD-based model to simulate, evaluate, and improve the performance of immobilized-titania based annular photocataytic reactor. The modeling and optimization of photocatalytic degradation of Rhodamine B in immobilized-TiO2 based annular reactor was also studied using a combination of CFD and RSM. The data generated by the CFD simulations were utilized to perform optimization using RSM. The RSM provided the sufficient statistical data to fit a quadratic model in terms of initial dye concentration, Reynolds number and time for photocatalytic degradation of Rhodamine B in annular reactor. The optimal conditions obtained using CFD and RSM were also verified against the experimental results. The outcome of the study indicated that modeling and optimization of photocatalytic degradation in immobilized-titania based annular photocatalytic reactor using CFD and RSM can save time, cost, and effort.
Key-words- Annular photocatalytic reactor; computational fluid dynamics (CFD); response surface methodology (RSM); titanium dioxide; photocatalysis.