THE CAL PRESSURE WAVE CHEMICAL REACTOR,
CORNELL AERONAUTICAL LAB INC BUFFALO N Y
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A novel type of chemical reactor which utilizes strong pressure waves to heat and cool gases rapidly and uniformly is proposed. Its principal advantages over existing devices are claimed to be 1 extremely rapid rates of heating and cooling reacting gases, 2 very precise control over reaction parameters, 3 effective reaction temperatures far above maximum wall temperatures, 4 a continuous flow system with a rate of chemical production competitive with other units of comparable size, and 5 low energy consumption per unit mass of product as compared with other reactors using similar chemistry. On the basis of a preliminary survey of reactions to which such a reactor might be applied, a detailed analysis was made of its application to the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen. Calculations of the mass handling capacity, net energy requirement, size of auxiliary equipment, etc., for an industrial wave reactor were carried out. The calculated yields and energy requirements compared favorably with other processes.