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The Integration of Process Heat Applications to High Temperature Gas Reactors

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael G. McKellar

Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID

Paper No. IMECE2011-64124, pp. 1011-1015; 5 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5490-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


A high temperature gas reactor, HTGR, can produce industrial process steam, high-temperature heat-transfer gases, and/or electricity. In conventional industrial processes, these products are generated by the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, resulting in significant emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Heat or electricity produced in an HTGR could be used to supply process heat or electricity to conventional processes without generating any greenhouse gases. Process heat from a reactor needs to be transported by a gas to the industrial process. Two such gases were considered in this study: helium and steam. For this analysis, it was assumed that steam was delivered at 17 MPa and 540°C and helium was delivered at 7 MPa and at a variety of temperatures. The temperature of the gas returning from the industrial process and going to the HTGR must be within certain temperature ranges to maintain the correct reactor inlet temperature for a particular reactor outlet temperature. The returning gas may be below the reactor inlet temperature, ROT, but not above. The optimal return temperature produces the maximum process heat gas flow rate. For steam, the delivered pressure sets an optimal reactor outlet temperature based on the condensation temperature of the steam. ROTs greater than 769.7°C produce no additional advantage for the production of steam.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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