A CFD Simulation of Hydrogen Production in Microreactors

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

In this study, the modeling of hydrogen production process in microreactors by methanol-steam reforming reaction is investigated. The catalytic reaction of methanol-steam reforming producing hydrogen is simulated considering a 3D geometry for the microreactor. To calculate diffusion among species, mixture average correlations are compared to Stephan-Maxwell equations. The reactions occurring inside the microreactor include reforming of methanol with steam, methanol decomposition, and a reaction between carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The main objectives of this study are the prediction of temperature profile along the microreactor using either mixture average method or Stephan-Maxwell one and the comparison between the present predictions and some existing experimental data. The simulation results indicate that Stephan-Maxwell method conforms more suitably to the experimental results. The difference is more at lower feed flow rates since, when the flow rate increases, mass transfer mechanism changes from diffusion to convection, which in turn reduces the difference.

Keywords