NUMERICAL INVESTIGATION OF THERMALLY COUPLED CATALYTIC MICROREACTORS USING COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS
AbstractAmmonia decomposition thermally coupled with methane catalytic combustion in catalytic microreactors for hydrogen production was studied numerically, using a two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model. The effect of flow configuration on the operation characteristics was studied, and different performance measures were evaluated to assess the operability of the reactor. It was found that for a given flow rate of combustible mixture, the maximum power generated is determined by extinction at large decomposition stream flow rates, whereas material stability determines the lower power limit. Complete conversion of ammonia can be achieved in both flow configurations. A proper balance of the flow rates of the decomposition and combustion streams is crucial in achieving this. The two flow configurations were contrasted based on multiple performance criteria. For highly conductive materials, the co-current and counter-current flow configurations behave similarly in all performance measures. The counter-current flow configuration shows superior performance albeit in a very narrow operating regime of highly conductive materials and high ammonia flow rates, whereas the co-current flow configuration enables lower temperatures and a wider spectrum of materials to be used.
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