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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 28, 2016

CFD Modeling and Operation Strategies for Hetero-/Homogeneous Combustion of Methane-Air Mixtures in Catalytic Microreactors Using Detailed Chemical Kinetics

Junjie Chen and Baofang Liu


The hetero-/homogeneous combustion of methane-air mixtures in platinum-coated microreactors was investigated by means of two-dimensional CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulations with detailed chemical reaction schemes, detailed species transport, and heat transfer mechanisms in the solid wall. Detailed homogeneous and heterogeneous chemical kinetic mechanisms are employed to describe the chemistry. The effects of the reactor size, inlet velocity and feed composition were elucidated. Operation strategies for controlling the heterogeneous and homogeneous chemistry in heterogeneous-homogeneous microreactors were developed. Simulations using these mechanisms suggested that homogeneous chemistry can be sustained for gaps well below the quenching distance because of enhanced catalyst-induced heating. This finding has very important ramifications for catalyst safety and lifetime, as well as can be used to produce chemicals, e. g. in oxidative coupling and oxidative dehydrogenation reactions. The proportion of heterogeneous and homogeneous contributions depends strongly upon the reactor operating conditions. Reactor size plays a vital role in the homogeneous chemistry contribution. Smaller reactors result in reduced homogeneous chemistry contribution. Pure heterogeneous chemistry can occur under certain proper conditions, such as heat loss/heat exchange rates, feed compositions, and flow rates. The competition or synergism between homogeneous and heterogeneous chemistry was delineated.

Funding statement: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51506048).


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Received: 2015-11-28
Revised: 2016-5-16
Accepted: 2016-6-9
Published Online: 2016-6-28
Published in Print: 2016-12-1

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