Research Papers: Fuel Combustion

Numerical Investigation of Auto-Ignition Characteristics in Microstructured Catalytic Honeycomb Reactor for CH4–Air and CH4–H2–Air Mixtures

[+] Author and Article Information
H. Kayed, A. Mohamed, M. Yehia

Mechanical Power Department,
Cairo University,
Giza 12613, Egypt

M. A. Nemitallah

TIC in CCS and Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: medhatahmed@kfupm.edu.sa

M. A. Habib

TIC in CCS and Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received September 19, 2018; final manuscript received February 6, 2019; published online February 27, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Reza Sheikhi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 141(8), 082209 (Feb 27, 2019) (12 pages) Paper No: JERT-18-1725; doi: 10.1115/1.4042825 History: Received September 19, 2018; Revised February 06, 2019

Stable ranges of auto-ignition for the microcombustion of CH4 and CH4–H2 mixtures are identified numerically in a platinum-coated microcatalytic honeycomb reactor. Steady and transient simulations under pseudo-auto-thermal conditions were performed to investigate the coupling phenomenon between combustion and heat transfer in such microburner using ANSYS 17.2 coupled with a detailed chemkin reaction mechanism. The model was validated utilizing the available data in the literature on a similar microreactor, and the results showed good agreements. A certain amount of heat is furnished from outside at constant temperature from an external electric furnace to investigate the variations of localized self-ignition temperature while changing the flow rate and mixture strength. It was found that the ignition temperature for CH4–air mixtures is not affected by the mass flow rate. However, the ignition temperature of CH4–H2 air mixtures decreases while increasing the flow rate. The effect of equivalence ratio was studied to demonstrate the variations of flammability limits of the present microreactor. The equivalence ratio required for auto-ignition of CH4–air mixtures was found to be in the range from 0.4 up to 0.85 at a flow rate of 9.5 g/s. The reaction front moved from upstream to downstream under transient conditions matching with the reported experimental behavior in the literature.

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Fig. 1

Representation of the catalytic honeycomb reactor: (a) full 3D representation and (b) honeycomb cut

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Fig. 2

Representative mesh of the developed model

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Fig. 3

Variation of adiabatic flame temperature versus predetermined MIT for both Mix1 and Mix2

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Fig. 4

Variation of maximum flame temperature with different inlet mixture temperatures for Mix1 and Mix2

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Fig. 5

Variation of the flame temperature along the microreactor in comparison with the experimental data by Refs. [25] and [33]

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Fig. 6

Distributions of the axial surface and volumetric heat production rates (Cal/cm2/s) along the microreactor

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Fig. 7

Axial distributions of species mole fractions along the microreactor

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Fig. 8

Effect of flow rate of Mix1 on the MIT and comparison with the experimental data by Ref. [25]

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Fig. 9

Variation of the maximum flame temperature versus inlet mixture temperature at different flow rates for Mix1

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Fig. 10

Variation of the maximum flame temperature versus equivalence ratio

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Fig. 11

Variation of numerical and experimental results [25] of MIT versus flow rate for Mix2

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Fig. 12

Temperature contours inside the electric furnace domain

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Fig. 13

Velocity contours along the electric furnace domain

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Fig. 14

Contours of CH4 and CO2 mole fractions along the electric furnace domain: (a) CH4 and (b) CO2

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Fig. 15

Temperature (K) contours inside the microtube after combustion completion

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Fig. 16

Transient temperature profiles reported experimentally by Cimino and Di Benedetto [29]

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Fig. 17

Temperature contours at about 0.5 s at a central cross-sectional plane of the reactor



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