(467c) Multi-Scale Modeling of an Annular Structured Catalytic Reactor for Steam Methane Reforming
AIChE Annual Meeting
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 8:40am to 9:00am
The intrinsic kinetics of steam methane reforming and water-gas shift reactions on a new Ni-based, intrinsically bound thin-layered catalyst adhered on a metal substrate were experimentally studied. The experiments were performed in a tubular packed bed micro-reactor, designed to avoid transport phenomena limitations. Estimation of the parameters and discrimination between the competing models followed from non-linear regression and statistical and physicochemical testing. Intra-catalyst diffusion limitations were accounted for using a pseudo-continuum model.
The commercial reactor performance is also determined by the complex flow pattern. A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model was developed. The Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) approach was adopted and turbulence was accounted for through the k-Îµ model. Thermal conduction in the walls and the internals of the reactor was accounted for and radiation was described by means of the Rosseland-Weighted Sum of Gray Gases Model. The CFD code was coupled with the intrinsic kinetic model and effectiveness factors independently calculated were imposed. The model parameters were determined from a combination of cold flow pressure drop tests and hot inert and reactive flow tests in different pilot plant units. The complete model was finally used to perform simulations of a commercial steam reformer. Comparison with a conventional packed bed reactor is made to demonstrate the process intensification potential of the annular structured reactor.