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Experimental investigation and performance optimisation of a catalytic reforming micro-reactor using response surface methodology


M.M. Sarafraz, Mohammad Reza Safaei, Marjan Goodarzi, M. Arjomandi

Source title: 
Energy Conversion and Management, 199: 111983, 2019 (ISI)
Academic year of acceptance: 

In the present work, the chemical performance of a new catalyst mediated inside a micro-reactor for hydrogen production was experimentally assessed. The coated catalyst was prepared via particulate fouling technique by uniformly dispersing copper nano-flakes on silica as a conductive substrate. The catalyst was calcinated at 973 K to further strengthen the structure against creep and flow friction forces. The proposed method is a cost-effective technique for the production of catalyst, which in turn improves the economic viability of the hydrogen production with micro-reactors. The effect of different operating parameters such as temperature, velocity of the reactants, the amount of the catalyst coated on the walls of the reactor and the geometrical specifications of the micro-reactor on methanol conversion extent was experimentally studied. The stability of the catalyst was also examined and it was demonstrated that the mechanism of hydrogen and synthetic gas production with the proposed catalyst is diffusion-controlled such that with an increase in the flow rate of the reactants, the residence time decreased resulting in the reduction of methanol conversion extent. For an average velocity of 24000 ml/(g hr) at T = 773 K, the methanol conversion exceeded 97%. Likewise, using response surface methodology, the operation of the micro-reactor was optimised such that the methanol conversion was promoted to 100% at 773 K at catalyst loading of 1.0 g and velocity of 24000 ml/(g hr).