Mathematical Investigation and CFD Simulation of Monolith Reactors: Catalytic Combustion of Methane

M. Ghadrdan[1], and H. Mehdizadeh[2]
[1]Department of Chemical Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
[2]Department of Chemical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

Interest in the production of hydrogen from hydrocarbons has grown significantly recently. In order to achieve high surface to volume ratio with reasonable pressure drop, monolithic reactors are used.

The goal of this work is to develop a two-phase (gas & solid) transient catalytic combustor model using a simplified flow field inside a single channel to test the advantages of the COMSOL Multiphysics software. The flow field model includes axial convective transport with transverse energy and mass exchange via heat and mass transfer correlations. The solid is a thermally thin shell along which finite-rate heat conduction occurs in the axial direction.

It is shown that the Nusselt number does not correlate with the Graetz number but rather depends on the variables such as gas velocity, inlet temperature and reactant concentration.