INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL REACTOR ENGINEERING, vol.5, 2007 (SCI-Expanded)
Photocatalytic oxidation of 4-methoxybenzyl alcohol to p-anisaldehyde was performed in water organic-free solutions by using a fixed bed continuous photoreactor containing Pyrex beads on which a TiO2 home prepared photocatalyst was supported. The influence of liquid flow rate, inlet alcohol concentration and catalyst amount on the photoprocess was studied. The highest selectivity to p-anisaldehyde was about 47% being CO2, the other main oxidation product; traces of 4-methoxybenzoic acid were also detected. The radiation field inside the photoreactor has been modelled by applying the Monte Carlo method thus allowing the determination of the local volumetric rate of photon absorption (LVRPA). It was found that the radiation intensity profile sharply decreases inside the bed so that an important aliquot of the bed is not active for the photoreaction occurrence. This finding indicates that the reactivity results, obtained by measuring the concentration values of reagents and products at the exit of photoreactor, can not be used jointly with the radiation modelling ones for determining the dependence of reaction kinetics on light intensity. The Langmuir-Hinshelwood approach has been satisfactorily applied for modelling the photoreactivity results and the values of all the model parameters have been determined.