(695e) Integrated Reactor/Heat-Exchanger for Direct Synthesis of Dimethyl-Ether

Authors: 
Freiberg, L., Oregon State University
Coblyn, M., Oregon State University
Jovanovic, G., Oregon State University
AuYeung, N., Oregon State University
Highly efficient, microscale-based technologies have provided a route to modularized solar-thermochemical energy storage, as is the case with the Solar Thermal Advanced Reactor System (STARS) [1]. As a platform to provide thermocatalytic conversion of solar syngas into value added carbon carrying species, an integrated reactor/heat-exchanger for the direct synthesis of dimethyl ether (DME) is presented here. Three goals were addressed in the design of this process intensified unit operation: 1) facilitation of a differential reaction temperature profile in order to maximize use of exergy, 2) recovery of heat of reaction for use in steam generation on board the STARS system, and 3) implementation of a lamina-plate architecture that provides flexible capacity and serviceable catalyst carrying structures via an openable design with commercially available gasketing. Multiphysics modeling of the reactor is presented. Plate fabrication, fluidic characterization, and catalyst coating development are discussed.

[1] R. Zheng et al., “Integrated Solar Thermochemical Reaction System for Steam Methane Reforming,” in Energy Procedia, 2015, pp. 1192–1200.