International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.45, No.29, 14790-14805, 2020
Numerical investigation of a multichannel reactor for syngas production by methanol steam reforming at various operating conditions
A novel multichannel reactor with a bifurcation inlet manifold, a rectangular outlet manifold, and sixteen parallel minichannels with commercial CuO/ZnO/Al(2)O(3 )catalyst for methanol steam reforming was numerically investigated in this paper. A three-dimensional numerical model was established to study the heat and mass transfer characteristics as well as the chemical reaction rates. The numerical model adopted the triple rate kinetic model of methanol steam reforming which can accurately calculate the consumption and generation of each species in the reactor. The effects of steam to carbon molar ratio, weight hourly space velocity, operating temperature and catalyst layer thickness on the methanol steam reforming performance were evaluated and discussed. The distributions of temperature, velocity, species concentration, and reaction rates in the reactor were obtained and analyzed to explain the mechanisms of different effects. It is suggested that the operating temperature of 548 K, steam to carbon ratio of 1.3, and weight hourly space velocity of 0.67 h(-1) are recommended operating conditions for methanol steam reforming by the novel multichannel reactor with catalyst fully packed in the parallel minichannels. (C) 2020 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.