The potential of methane steam reforming at microscale is theoretically explored. To this end, a multifunctional catalytic plate microreactor, comprising of a propane combustion channel and a methane steam reforming channel, separated by a solid wall, is simulated with a pseudo 2-D (two-dimensional) reactor model. Newly developed lumped kinetic rate expressions for both processes, obtained from a posteriori reduction of detailed microkinetic models, are used. It is shown that the steam reforming at millisecond contact times is feasible at microscale, and in agreement with a recent experimental report. Furthermore, the attainable operating regions delimited from the materials stability limit, the breakthrough limit, and the maximum power output limit are mapped out. A simple operation strategy is presented for obtaining variable power output along the breakthrough line (a nearly iso-flow rate ratio line), while ensuring good overlap of reaction zones, and provide guidelines for reactor sizing. Finally, it is shown that the choice of the wall material depends on the targeted operating regime. Low-conductivity materials increase the methane conversion and power output at the expense of higher wall temperatures and steeper temperature gradients along the wall. For operation close to the breakthrough limit, intermediate conductivity materials, such as stainless steel, offer a good compromise between methane conversion and wall temperature. Even without recuperative heat exchange, the thermal efficiency of the multifunctional device and the reformer approaches 65% and 85%, respectively.

Methane steam reforming at microscale: Operation strategies for variable power output at millisecond contact times

MAESTRI, MATTEO
2009-01-01

Abstract

The potential of methane steam reforming at microscale is theoretically explored. To this end, a multifunctional catalytic plate microreactor, comprising of a propane combustion channel and a methane steam reforming channel, separated by a solid wall, is simulated with a pseudo 2-D (two-dimensional) reactor model. Newly developed lumped kinetic rate expressions for both processes, obtained from a posteriori reduction of detailed microkinetic models, are used. It is shown that the steam reforming at millisecond contact times is feasible at microscale, and in agreement with a recent experimental report. Furthermore, the attainable operating regions delimited from the materials stability limit, the breakthrough limit, and the maximum power output limit are mapped out. A simple operation strategy is presented for obtaining variable power output along the breakthrough line (a nearly iso-flow rate ratio line), while ensuring good overlap of reaction zones, and provide guidelines for reactor sizing. Finally, it is shown that the choice of the wall material depends on the targeted operating regime. Low-conductivity materials increase the methane conversion and power output at the expense of higher wall temperatures and steeper temperature gradients along the wall. For operation close to the breakthrough limit, intermediate conductivity materials, such as stainless steel, offer a good compromise between methane conversion and wall temperature. Even without recuperative heat exchange, the thermal efficiency of the multifunctional device and the reformer approaches 65% and 85%, respectively.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/532149
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