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CFD Modeling of a Catalytic Flat Plate Fuel Reformer for Hydrogen Generation

[+] Author Affiliations
Kranthi K. Gadde, Panini K. Kolavennu, Susanta K. Das, K. J. Berry

Kettering University, Flint, MI

Paper No. FuelCell2010-33176, pp. 609-617; 9 pages
  • ASME 2010 8th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2010 8th International Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology Conference: Volume 1
  • Brooklyn, New York, USA, June 14–16, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4404-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3875-4
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


In this study, steam reforming of methane coupled with methane catalytic combustion in a catalytic plate reactor is studied using a two-dimensional mathematical model for co-current flow arrangement. A two-dimensional approach makes the model more realistic by increasing its capability to capture the effect of parameters such as catalyst thickness, reaction rates, inlet temperature and velocity, and channel height, and eliminates the uncertainties introduced by heat and mass transfer coefficients used in one-dimensional models. In our work, we simulate the entire flat plate reformer (both reforming side and combustion side) and carry out parametric studies related to channel height, inlet velocities, and catalyst layer thickness that can provide guidance for the practical implementation of such design. The operating conditions chosen make possible a comparison of the catalytic plate reactor and catalytic combustion analysis with the conventional steam reformer. The CFD results obtained in this study will be very helpful to understand the optimization of design parameters to build a first generation prototype.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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