Research Papers: Fuel Combustion

Comprehensive Study of Steam Reforming of Methane in Membrane Reactors

[+] Author and Article Information
Özgün Yücel

Department of Chemical Engineering,
Gebze Technical University,
Gebze, Kocaeli 41400, Turkey
e-mail: yozgun@gtu.edu.tr

Mehmet Alaittin Hastaoglu

Department of Chemical Engineering,
Gebze Technical University,
Gebze, Kocaeli 41400, Turkey
e-mail: hastaoglu@gtu.edu.tr

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received September 30, 2015; final manuscript received January 29, 2016; published online March 1, 2016. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 138(5), 052204 (Mar 01, 2016) (8 pages) Paper No: JERT-15-1368; doi: 10.1115/1.4032733 History: Received September 30, 2015; Revised January 29, 2016

A 2D model and heat transfer mechanism are proposed to analyze and study oxidative steam reforming of methane (OSRM) in a membrane reactor. The model describes mass and thermal dispersions for gas and solid phases. It also accounts for transport through the membrane. The effects of operating parameters on methane conversion and H2 yield are analyzed. The parameters considered are the bed temperature (800–1100 K), molar oxygen-to-carbon ratio (0.0–0.5), and steam-to-carbon ratio (1–4). The results show that our model prevents overestimation and provides valuable additional information about temperature and concentration gradients in membrane reactor which is not available in a simple one-dimensional approach. Simulation results show that large temperature and concentration gradients cannot be avoided. The particle properties and the bed diameter have a considerable effect on the extent of gas mixing. Effective gas mixing coefficient also increases with increasing gas and solid velocity. In membrane reactor, simulation results show that mixing which depends on operational and design parameters has a strong effect on the hydrogen conversion. Also, the removal of hydrogen with membranes breaks equilibrium barrier leading to efficient production of hydrogen, reduced reactor size, and tube lengths. The model can be used in real-time simulation of industrial reactors for control and optimization purposes.

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Fig. 1

A schematic representation of the reformer

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Fig. 2

Verification of the model

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Fig. 3

Exit composition versus temperature: (a) without membrane and (b) with membrane. H2,MS is the membrane side hydrogen.

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Fig. 4

(a) Hydrogen yield and (b) methane conversion for the cases with membranes and without for isothermal simulation

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Fig. 5

(a) Temperature profile for the case with membrane for adiabatic simulation at 1000 K and (b) hydrogen yield for the cases with and without membranes for adiabatic simulations

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Fig. 6

Hydrogen yield at different reaction pressures for the cases with and without membranes for isothermal simulation

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Fig. 7

Fuel conversion efficiency for the cases with and without membranes at 900 K

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Fig. 8

Effect of radial flow dispersion on hydrogen yield for the cases with membranes



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