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Dry Reforming in a Milli-Scale Reactor Driven by Simulated Sunlight

School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, King Mongkut’s University of Technology, North Bangkok, 1518 Pracharaj 1 Road, Bangsue, Bangkok 10800, Thailand
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ChemEngineering 2018, 2(4), 50;
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 23 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 18 October 2018
PDF [6261 KB, uploaded 18 October 2018]


In this study, a directly irradiated, milli-scale chemical reactor with a simple nickel catalyst was designed for dry reforming of methane for syngas. A milli-scale reactor was used to facilitate rapid heating, which is conducive to combating thermal transience caused by intermittent solar energy, as well as reducing startup times. Milli-scale reactors also allow for a distributed and modular process to produce chemicals on a more local scale. In this setup, the catalyst involved in the reaction is located directly in the focal area of the solar simulator, resulting in rapid heating. The effects of mean residence time and temperature on conversion and energy efficiency were tested. The process, which is intended to store thermal energy as chemical enthalpy, achieved 10% thermal-to-chemical energy conversion efficiency at a mean residence time of 0.028 s, temperature of 1000 °C, and molar feed ratio of 1:1 CO2:CH4. A significant portion of the thermal energy input into the reactor was directed toward sensible heating of the feed gas. Thus, this technology has potential to achieve solar-to-chemical efficiency with the integration of recuperative heat exchange. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar thermochemical; dry reforming of methane; syngas; solar reactor; catalysis solar thermochemical; dry reforming of methane; syngas; solar reactor; catalysis

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Wang, Y.; Lei, F.; Freiberg, L.; Bagherisereshki, E.; Inbamrung, P.; Intarasiri, S.; Jovanovic, G.; Yokochi, A.F.T.; Árnadóttir, L.; AuYeung, N. Dry Reforming in a Milli-Scale Reactor Driven by Simulated Sunlight. ChemEngineering 2018, 2, 50.

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