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Energies 2018, 11(8), 2082; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11082082

Numerical Investigation of the Effects of Steam Mole Fraction and the Inlet Velocity of Reforming Reactants on an Industrial-Scale Steam Methane Reformer

Department of Aeronautical Engineering, National Formosa University, Huwei, Yunlin 632, Taiwan
Received: 1 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cleaner Combustion)
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Abstract

Steam methane reforming (SMR) is the most common commercial method of industrial hydrogen production. Control of the catalyst tube temperature is a fundamental demand of the reformer design because the tube temperature must be maintained within a range that the catalysts have high activity and the tube has minor damage. In this paper, the transport and chemical reaction in an industrial-scale steam methane reformer are simulated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Two factors influencing the reformer temperature, hydrogen yield and stress distribution are discussed: (1) the mole fraction of steam (YH2O) and (2) the inlet velocity of the reforming reactants. The purpose of this paper is to get a better understanding of the flow and thermal development in a reformer and thus, to make it possible to improve the performance and lifetime of a steam reformer. It is found that the lowest temperature at the reforming tube surface occurs when YH2O is 0.5. Hydrogen yield has the highest value when YH2O is 0.5. The wall shear stress at the reforming tube surface is higher at a higher YH2O. The surface temperature of a reforming tube increases with the inlet velocity of the reforming reactants. Finally, the wall shear stress at the reforming tube surface increases with the inlet velocity of the reforming reactants. View Full-Text
Keywords: steam methane reformer; computational fluid dynamics; tube surface temperature; hydrogen yield; wall shear stress steam methane reformer; computational fluid dynamics; tube surface temperature; hydrogen yield; wall shear stress
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Yeh, C.-L. Numerical Investigation of the Effects of Steam Mole Fraction and the Inlet Velocity of Reforming Reactants on an Industrial-Scale Steam Methane Reformer. Energies 2018, 11, 2082.

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