STEAM REFORMING OF METHANE IN CATALYTIC MICROREACTORS FOR HYDROGEN PRODUCTION

Junjie Chen

Abstract


The steam reforming of methane in catalytic microreactors was modeled using a two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model with detailed chemistry and transport. The reactor consists of alternating channels carrying out reforming and combustion on opposite sides of a wall. It was shown that at high fuel conversions, the choice of hydrocarbon combustible fuel is immaterial when suitable compositions are used so that the energy input is kept the same. Additionally, direct comparison of nickel and rhodiumsuggested that the choice of reforming catalyst is critical. Furthermore, speed up of heat transfer through miniaturization is insufficient for process intensification; catalyst-intensification is also needed to avoid hot spots and enable compact devices for portable and distributed power generation. Finally, some alternative strategies for improving reformers running on nickel were discussed and explored.

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