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Numerical Predictions of Hydrogen-Air Rectangular Channel Flows Augmented by Catalytic Surface Reactions

[+] Author Affiliations
Ryoichi S. Amano, Mohsen M. Abou-Ellail

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI

S. Kaseb

Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Paper No. IMECE2009-10457, pp. 411-426; 16 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2009-10457
From:
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Combustion Science and Engineering
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4376-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME

abstract

Catalytic combustion of hydrogen-air boundary layers involves the adsorption of hydrogen and oxygen into a platinum coated surface, chemical reactions of the adsorbed species and the desorption of the resulting products. Readsorption of some produced gases is also possible. The catalytic reactions can be beneficial in porous burners and catalytic reactors that use low equivalence ratios. In this case the porous burner flame can be stabilized at low temperatures to prevent any substantial gas emissions, such as nitrogen oxides. The present paper is concerned with the numerical computations of momentum transfer, heat transfer and chemical reactions in rectangular channel flows of hydrogen-air mixtures. Chemical reactions are included in the gas phase as well as on the solid platinum surfaces. In the gas phase, eight species are involved in 26 elementary reactions. On the platinum hot surfaces, additional surface species are included that are involved in 16 additional surface chemical reactions. The platinum surface temperature distribution is pre-specified, while the properties of the reacting flow are computed. The flow configuration investigated in the present paper is that of a rectangular channel burner. Finite-volume equations are obtained by formal integration over control volumes surrounding each grid node. Hybrid differencing is used to ensure that the finite-difference coefficients are always positive or equal to zero to reflect the real effect of neighboring nodes on a typical central node. The finite-volume equations of the reacting gas flow properties are solved by a combined iterative-marching algorithm. On the platinum surfaces, surface species balance equations, under steady-state conditions, are solved numerically. A non-uniform computational grid is used, concentrating most of the nodes in the boundary sub-layer adjoining the catalytic surfaces. The channel flow computational results are compared with recent detailed experimental data for similar geometry. In this case, the catalytic surface temperature profile along the x-axis was measured accurately and is used in the present work as the boundary condition for the gas phase energy equation. The present numerical results for the gas temperature, water vapor mole fraction and hydrogen mole fraction are compared with the corresponding experimental data. In general, the agreement is very good especially in the first 105 millimeters. However, some differences are observed in the vicinity of the exit section of the rectangular channel. The numerical results show that the production of water vapor is very fast near the entrance section flowed by a much slower reaction rate. Gas phase ignition is noticed near the catalytic surface at a streamwise distance of about 120 mm. This gas-phase ignition manifests itself as a sudden increase in the mole fractions of OH, H and O.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME

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