The next wave of chemical reactors has been born- the Fiber Reactor from Advanced Materials and Processes.
The Fiber Reactor is a High Efficiency Method for conducting chemical transformations.
To achieve chemical reaction between components of two liquid phases, the chemical industry, vegetable oil processing industry, and the pharmaceutical industry rely on high energy mixing of phases to generate dispersion of one phase in the other. The high energy dispersion produces small droplets with high surface area of contact between the two phases The down side of dispersing one phase in another is that the dispersed phase must be coalesced. Coalescing is achieved in several ways: gravity settling, coalescers (generally fiber/sand), or centrifugation. These coalescing methods add time, cost and/or complexity to a chemical process. Frequently, a "rag layer" consisting of a stable mixture of both phases is formed. This rag layer is typically either a waste product that must be handled/disposed of, or a low value by-product.
The Fiber Reactor reduces complexity and cost of chemical processes by achieving a large area of contact between two phases without dispersing one phase in the other. Reactions are fast, separation of the phases is virtually instantaneous, and there is no rag layer formed.
The Fiber Reactor reduces complexity by constraining one phase to a fiber running through a pipe. The constrained phase is pumped into the top of the reactor, wets the fiber, follows the fiber to the interface of the bulk phases in a separator, and becomes part of the bulk constrained phase. The free phase liquid is pumped between the wetted fibers. A large area of the constrained phase comes in contact with the free phase. At the end of the pipe the free phase separates from the fiber bundle and becomes part of the bulk free phase. The phases are never "mixed".