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Computational Modelling of A Methane Steam Reforming Reactor

  • Author / Creator
    Sola Quiroz, Andres A
  • The majority of industrial chemical rectors are based on the packed bed reactor. This is the main reason why these types of reactors have been a subject of so many investigations. They are primarily used because of their simplicity at the moment of their design, build and operation (Hayes, 2013). However, at the moment of design, simplicity can carry some lack of accuracy. Depending on the goals of each project this can be acceptable but some other projects demand more certainty of the processes that occur inside the reactor and of the outcome obtained at the outlet of itself. Thus, a more detailed two dimensional modeling methodology is what this investigation aims for. Based on data obtained from the work of Zeiser et al. (2001) and the experimental work of Benenati et al. (1962), an equation is developed to obtain a variable porosity, which is more realistic compared to the use of a constant porosity over the reactor. The equation is made for an average porosity of 0.38 and a tube to particle diameter ratio of 10. In this work, a packed bed two dimensional heterogeneous axisymmetric model which includes: mass balances and energy balances for the solid and the fluid phases, Ergun equation to calculate the permeability and account for the porosity influence, dispersion mechanisms for the fluid transport, and a radial variable porosity equation, is carried out using COMSOL multiphysics, a commercial finite elements software. An important final step to this model is the implementation of look-up tables as showed by Votsmeier (Votsmeier, 2009) to obtain the source terms for the chemical reactions. This, using a one dimensional diffusion model to crate the tables and pre-calculate source terms for a range of conditions.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3RJ4910W
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
  • Specialization
    • Chemical Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Hayes, Robert E. (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Olfert, Jason (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Afacan, Artin (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
    • Yeung, Anthony (Chemical and Materials Engineering)