Comparison of the performance of a direct-contact bubble reactor and an indirectly heated tubular reactor for solar-aided methane dry reforming employing molten salt

Khalid Al-Ali, Satoshi Kodama, Hidetoshi Sekiguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

A theoretical approach is presented for the comparison of two different atmospheric pressure reactors-a direct-contact bubble reactor (DCBR) and an indirectly heated tubular reactor (IHTR)-to evaluate the reactor performance in terms of heat transfer and available catalytic active surface area. The model considers the catalytic endothermic reactions of methane dry reforming that proceeds in both reactors by employing molten salts at elevated temperatures (700-900°C) in the absence of catalyst deactivation effects. The methane conversion process is simulated for a single reactor using both a reaction kinetics model and a heat transfer model. A well-tested reaction kinetics model, which showed an acceptable agreement with the empirical observations, was implemented to describe the methane dry reforming. In DCBR, the heat is internally transferred by direct contact with the three phases of the system: the reactant gas bubbles, the heat carrier molten salts and the solid catalyst (Ni-Al2O3). In contrast, the supplied heat in the conventional shell-and-tube heat exchanger of the IHTR is transferred across an intervening wall. The results suggest a combination system of DCBR and IHTR would be a suitable configuration for process intensification associated with higher thermal efficiency and cost reduction.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification
Volume83
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Direct contact bubble reactor
  • Dry reforming
  • Heat transfer
  • Simulation
  • Tubular reactor

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