Optimization of methane reforming in a microreactor - effects of catalyst loading and geometry
The effects of catalyst surface site density, representing the catalyst amount, and reactor diameter on the reforming process of methane in a wall-coated, single-channel microreactor were studied. Catalyst loading strongly influenced the reactor performance. The higher the catalyst surface site density, the higher the hydrogen yield and the methane conversion for a constant gas space velocity (GSV) and reactor geometry. A high catalyst density enhanced hydrogen production in the oxygen rich region due to the fast splitting of the adsorbed methane on the surface. In the oxygen deficient region, a high catalyst density enhanced water splitting, which is the limiting factor in steam reforming, leading again to a higher hydrogen production. If the catalyst space velocity and the reactor geometry were kept constant, increasing the GSV led again to a significant increase of hydrogen selectivity. The wall temperature increased significantly by raising GSV, due to the increase of the inlet volumetric flow rate, thus the amount of methane that could be converted. Enhancing the amount of catalyst and/or decreasing the channel diameter did not automatically increase the reactor performance.
Stutz, MJ; Hotz, N; Poulikakos, D
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