PSE reactor design services

Multitubular reactor scale-up and design

PSE Consulting provides extensive services for design, operational optimization and troubleshooting of multitubular fixed-bed catalytic reactors.

Our team of experts applies model-based engineering techniques to support key design and operational decisions, working closely with your in-house team on aspects such as experimentation.

We use high-fidelity predictive models from the Advanced Model Library for Fixed-bed Catalytic Reactors (AML:FBCR) or our extensive in-house models.


PSE’s industry-proven services cover gas phase or liquid phase reactors. Typical applications include:

  • Scale-up from bench to pilot and commercial scale
  • Tube-side design to determine, for example, the optimal number and dimensions of tubes
  • Shell-side design to determine, for example, optimal baffle configuration, tube pitch, coolant flow, etc.
  • Catalyst layer optimization to determine the optimal arrangement and different grades of catalyst and inert
  • Impact of catalyst shape, size and internal structure for different catalyst candidates
  • Hot spot management
  • Kinetics identification, including the kinetics of catalyst deactivation
  • Advice on design of experimental programmes to maximize information from experiments and reduce experimentation cost.


Considerable benefits can be realised from applying model-based engineering techniques to multitubular reactor design:

  • Better mechanical design improves profitability through increased throughput and better and more consistent product quality.
  • Similarly, more uniform temperature distribution through the reactor can extend catalyst life by 6 months, reducing catalyst cost and downtime
  • By combining reactor design with design of the separation section it is possible to design an (economically optimal plant), improving process economics by tens of millions of dollars.
  • Better understanding of the reactor performance reduces technology risk.

Our team

PSE Consulting has a team of experienced PhD-qualified experts in reaction engineering, process modelling and engineering design and optimization, with a wealth of experience from a range of industry projects.

We use model-based engineering design techniques that enable important design decisions to be based on accurate predictive information.

This is taken from high-fidelity advanced process models validated against experimental, pilot or operating data where necessary. Models can be coupled with CFD models where required – for detailed design of complex reactors, including internal geometry.

The techniques are equally applicable to design or optimization of operations.

Find out more

You can find out more by contacting the consulting team at your nearest office. Alternatively request a free consultation below.



More Information
Advanced process models combine first-principles theory with observed data. This is what gives them such unprecedented predictive accuracy.

Multitubular Reactor design