(464b) Experimental and Numerical Study of an Intensified Water-Gas Shift (WGS) Reaction Process Using a Membrane Reactor (MR)/Adsorptive Reactor (AR) Sequence

Authors: 
Cao, M., University of Southern California
Chen, H., University of Southern California
Zhao, L., University of Southern California
Manousiouthakis, V., University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Tsotsis, T., University of Southern California
Karagoz, S., UCLA
Reactive separation processes, such as membrane reactors (MRs) and adsorptive reactors (ARs), have been attracting increased interest for industrial applications. Such a hybrid system combining a membrane reactor (MR) and an adsorptive reactor (AR) in tandem (with the AR following the MR, and the MR’s reject stream serving as the AR’s feed) can produce an ultra-pure H2 product (without the need for using a post-processing step), and can deliver WGS reaction conversion exceeding equlibrium. The proposal configuration (AR following MR) provides significant flexibility in addition to high-purity hydrogen and carbon dioxide production.

The primary objective of this work is to first develop and simulate an advanced, and detailed mathematical model for the MR/AR sequence and then validate this model using experimental data obtained at the bench-scale. The MR system is composed of a reaction zone packed with catalyst pellets and glass beads, and a water/hydrogen permeation zone. In the AR, both catalyst and adsorbent materials are used for simultaneous reaction and separation. The AR is a dynamically operated process. Both steady-state and dynamic experiment are carried out in a laboratory setting to capture the individual MR/AR performances. Experiments are carried out for a broad range of temperatures (up to 300 oC) and pressures (up to 25 bar) relevant to realistic application conditions. The velocity, temperature and species concentration profiles in the MR reaction and permeation zones are captured by momentum/species transport models accounting for convection/reaction /diffusion/conduction mechanisms. The rigorous Maxwell-Stefan and dusty gas models are applied to describe mass diffusion fluxes. Finally, the performances of the combined system (the membrane reactor (MR) followed by an adsorptive reactor (AR) is simulated for a broad range of the operating conditions and design parameters. The simulation results are compared with the experimental findings.

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