Chemical reactors are the most important part of any chemical plant. It is in the reactor that raw materials are chemically reacted together to form the final product. However, almost all industrially important chemical reactions are not carried out in a single phase, but rather involve two or more phases. Depending on the reactor, the different phases can play different roles including: sourcing and/or storing of reactants, products, or catalysts; mixing; and transport processing. Multiphase reactors are found in many diverse applications, such as the manufacture of petroleum-based fuels, commodity and specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, herbicides and pesticides, and the production of polymers. Additionally, multiphase reactors can be used in the conversion of harmful processing byproducts into environmentally friendly or recyclable products.
The ubiquity of multiphase reactors in so many different applications has made the study of multiphase reactors and reactions a critical component for many industrial groups, including chemicals, energy, and pharmaceuticals. To this end, a series of meetings known as the International Conferences on Gas-Liquid and Gas-Liquid-Solid Reactor Engineering (GLS) has been held with the inaugural conference haven taken place at Columbus, Ohio in 1992 to the 11th and most recent conference haven taken place at Seoul, South Korea in 2013. The 12th edition of this conference series (GLS12) took place at New York, New York from June 28 to July 1, 2015.