This paper discusses a numerical analysis of the heat and mass transfer characteristics in an autothermal methane reformer. Assuming local thermal equilibrium between the bulk gas and the surface of the catalyst, a one-medium approach for the porous medium analysis was incorporated. Also, the mass transfer between the bulk gas and the catalyst’s surface was neglected due to the relatively low gas velocity. For the catalytic surface reaction, the Langmuir–Hinshelwood model was incorporated in which methane is reformed to hydrogen-rich gases by the autothermal reforming (ATR) reaction. Full combustion, steam reforming, water-gas shift, and direct steam reforming reactions were included in the chemical reaction model. Mass, momentum, energy, and species balance equations were simultaneously calculated with the chemical reactions for the multiphysics analysis. By varying the four operating conditions (inlet temperature, oxygen to carbon ratio (OCR), steam to carbon ratio, and gas hourly space velocity (GHSV)), the performance of the ATR reactor was estimated by the numerical calculations. The SR reaction rate was improved by an increased inlet temperature. The reforming efficiency and the fuel conversion reached their maximum values at an OCR of 0.7. When the GHSV was increased, the reforming efficiency increased but the large pressure drop may decrease the system efficiency. From these results, we can estimate the optimal operating conditions for the production of large amounts of hydrogen from methane.
Numerical Analysis of the Heat and Mass Transfer Characteristics in an Autothermal Methane Reformer
Park, J., Lee, S., Kim, S., and Bae, J. (July 20, 2010). "Numerical Analysis of the Heat and Mass Transfer Characteristics in an Autothermal Methane Reformer." ASME. J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol. October 2010; 7(5): 051018. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4000690
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