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Cost effective design procedures to support modular catalytic reactors

Osama Bedair (OB Engineering, Ottawa, Canada)

Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures

ISSN: 1573-6105

Article publication date: 29 April 2021

Issue publication date: 7 June 2021




The purpose of this paper is to describe cost effective structural design procedures to support catalytic reactors used in hydrocarbon industry. Three case studies are presented using various reactor models. Modularization and transportation challenges are also discussed. The scope of the paper is limited only to the structural and construction aspects. The chemical and mechanical designs are not covered in this paper.


Finite element strategies are developed to model load transfer to reactor’s supports and to simulate soil/structure interaction. Fictitious nodes are generated at bolt locations to transfer the reactor’s loadings from the skirt to the pile cap. Soil-pile interaction is modeled using horizontal and vertical springs along the pile embedded length. Flexible supports are used at the bottom of the piles to stimulate the end bearing of the soil bed. The approach is demonstrated for several case studies of reactors support system.


The described algorithm is accurate and computationally efficient. Furthermore, the procedure can be used in practice for design catalytic reactor support.

Practical implications

The paper provides very useful guidelines that can be utilized in practice for design of catalytic reactor supports system. The procedure is cost effective and computationally efficient.


Extensive efforts were made in the past to develop economical procedures for catalytic reactors design. Much of the work focused on the process and mechanical aspects of catalytic reactors. Very limited work addressed the structural design aspects. Furthermore, no guidelines are available in current codes of practice.



Bedair, O. (2021), "Cost effective design procedures to support modular catalytic reactors", Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 775-795.



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