A method for determining optimum catalyst particle size for a gas-solid, liquid-solid, or gas-liquid-solid fluidized bed reactor such as a slurry bubble column reactor (SBCR) for converting synthesis gas into liquid fuels considers the complete granular temperature balance based on the kinetic theory of granular flow, the effect of a volumetric mass transfer coefficient between the liquid and the gas, and the water gas shift reaction. The granular temperature of the catalyst particles representing the kinetic energy of the catalyst particles is measured and the volumetric mass transfer coefficient between the gas and liquid phases is calculated using the granular temperature. Catalyst particle size is varied from 20 .mu.m to 120 .mu.m and a maximum mass transfer coefficient corresponding to optimum liquid hydrocarbon fuel production is determined. Optimum catalyst particle size for maximum methanol production in a SBCR was determined to be in the range of 60-70 .mu.m.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to the employer/employee relationship between the United States Government, represented by the Department of Energy, and the inventors.