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Entropy 2019, 21(4), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21040399

Model Development and Exergy Analysis of a Microreactor for the Steam Methane Reforming Process in a CFD Environment

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), H-12 Islamabad 46000, Pakistan
2
Department of Systems Science, Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo-Ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
3
Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, College of Engineering, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain 73000, UAE
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entropy in Computational Fluid Dynamics II )
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Abstract

Steam methane reforming (SMR) is a dominant technology for hydrogen production. For the highly energy-efficient operation, robust energy analysis is crucial. In particular, exergy analysis has received the attention of researchers due to its advantage over the conventional energy analysis. In this work, an exergy analysis based on the computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based method was applied to a monolith microreactor of SMR. Initially, a CFD model of SMR was developed using literature data. Then, the design and operating conditions of the microreactor were optimized based on the developed CFD model to achieve higher conversion efficiency and shorter length. Exergy analysis of the optimized microreactor was performed using the custom field function (CFF) integrated with the CFD environment. The optimized catalytic monolith microreactor of SMR achieved higher conversion efficiency at a smaller consumption of energy, catalyst, and material of construction than the reactor reported in the literature. The exergy analysis algorithm helped in evaluating length-wise profiles of all three types of exergy, namely, physical exergy, chemical exergy, and mixing exergy, in the microreactor.
Keywords: steam methane reforming; computational fluid dynamics; monolith reactor; physical exergy; chemical exergy; CHEMKIN; rhodium catalyst; simple algorithm steam methane reforming; computational fluid dynamics; monolith reactor; physical exergy; chemical exergy; CHEMKIN; rhodium catalyst; simple algorithm
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Rahman, Z.; Ahmad, I.; Kano, M.; Mustafa, J. Model Development and Exergy Analysis of a Microreactor for the Steam Methane Reforming Process in a CFD Environment. Entropy 2019, 21, 399.

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