Experimental investigation of reforming and flow characteristics of a steam methane reformer filled with nickel catalyst of various shapes

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Abstract

An experimental investigation of the steam methane reforming process in a cylindrical packed bed filled with the Ni-αAl2O3 catalysts was performed to understand the effect of particle shapes of catalyst on a pressure drop and a methane conversion. Four particle shapes such as a simple cylinder, a Raschig ring, a 7-holes cylinder, and a 7-holes sphere were tested. Moreover, the simple cylinders and the Raschig rings were tested for various end-to-end dimensions (5 mm, 10 mm, 15 mm, 20 mm, 25 mm). The present study showed that the methane conversion is increasing with an increase in the geometric surface of the packed at a constant packed bed length (600 mm). Two quantities are proposed for evaluating the effectiveness of the packed beds filled with a catalyst of various shape: a weight residence time (kgcat·s/mol) and a surface residence time (m2·s/mol). The maximum methane conversion is observed for the 7-holes spheres. The catalytic activity of the surface unit of all investigated catalyst shapes is approximately the same. A characteristic quadratic dependence of a pressure drop versus velocity ΔP=f(u2) is observed for all catalyst types. The minimum pressure drops are taking place in a packed bed filled with the 7-holes cylinders, while the maximum pressure drops are occurring for the simple cylinders. The linear (1/mm) and volumetric (1/m3) drag coefficient were calculated. The drag coefficient is decreasing when the velocity decreases, especially in the velocity range up to 1 m/s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Volume185
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Catalyst
  • Catalyst shape
  • Methane conversion
  • Methane reforming
  • Nickel catalyst
  • Packed bed

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