(663e) Dual Fluidized Bed Reforming: Pilot Test Results & Potential Commercial Implications

Apanel, G., Rentech, Inc.
Ibsen, M., Rentech, Inc.
Mayer, K., Vienna University of Technology
Pröll, T., Vienna University of Technology
Hofbauer, H., Vienna University of Technology

Dual Fluidized Bed Reforming

Pilot Test Results & Potential Commercial Implications

Reforming of hydrocarbons is widely practiced today to provide synthesis gas for production of basic chemical compounds. Various gasification technologies and synthesis routes have been proposed for future generations of clean liquid fuels from various gaseous or solid fuel feedstocks such as Coal to Liquids (CTL), Gas to Liquids (GTL), and Biomass to Liquids (BTL). Even though dual fluidized bed (DFB) systems have been proposed for hydrocarbon reforming related applications since the 1940s, conventional reforming operations such as steam methane reforming and autothermal reforming is currently typically conducted using fixed bed catalytic reactors. One of the principal challenges for using fluidized bed technology for reforming applications was the trade-off between high catalytic activity versus high mechanical strength of the catalyst particles necessary to keep attrition losses reasonable. If a DFB system is used for reforming, one reactor (reformer) is operated as the reformer while the second reactor (air reactor) is operated with air and additional fuel to provide the necessary heat for the reformer. The catalyst particles are generally circulated between the two reactors at high circulation rates as required to maintain the desired reactor conditions.

There are a number of potential advantages resulting from the use of DFB systems for reforming:

? since heat is transferred by the circulating catalyst particles, there is essentially no limitation of the reaction rate by heat transfer ? smaller reactor volumes and less catalyst required per unit fuel feed ? no/less steam is required ? less concern with respect to sulfur contaminants ? temperatures can be maximized because the reactors can be refractory lined ? higher CH4 conversion possible even at elevated pressures via commensurate increase in temperature

This presentation discusses experimental results of a DFB pilot plant using a catalytic bed material and potential commercial implications.


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