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CFD Modelling of the Dehydrogenation Reaction of Isobutane to Isobutylene in a Fixed Bed Reactor

[+] Author Affiliations
Tarek J. Jamaleddine, Ramsey M. Bunama

SABIC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Paper No. HT2016-1071, pp. V001T23A001; 5 pages
  • ASME 2016 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the ASME 2016 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting and the ASME 2016 14th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • Volume 1: Heat Transfer in Energy Systems; Thermophysical Properties; Theory and Fundamentals in Heat Transfer; Nanoscale Thermal Transport; Heat Transfer in Equipment; Heat Transfer in Fire and Combustion; Transport Processes in Fuel Cells and Heat Pipes; Boiling and Condensation in Macro, Micro and Nanosystems
  • Washington, DC, USA, July 10–14, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5032-9
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


The catalytic dehydrogenation reaction of isobutane to isobutylene is simulated in a commercial-scale heterogenous fixed bed reactor (FBR). The porous medium method in ANSYS Fluent combined with the reaction model capability was utilized to predict the flow behavior and species transport in a bed of spherical particles. Physical and material properties of a dehydrogenating catalyst of Chromium Oxide (Cr2O3) on Aluminum Oxide Support (Al2O3) were employed in the model. Several reaction models were implemented using a customized User-defined Function (UDF) subroutine. Simulation results were validated against literature data for a similar process. Good agreement was observed for the conversion of alkanes to alkenes within acceptable accuracy. It is concluded that the power-law model showed the least fit for the feed conversion and product selectivity compared to the other studied reaction models.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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