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Reforming of methanol with steam in a micro-reactor with Cu-SiO2 porous catalyst

Authors: 

M.M.Sarafraz, Mohammad Reza Safaei, MarjanGoodarzi, M.Arjomandi

Source title: 
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 44(36): 19628-19639, 2019 (ISI)
Academic year of acceptance: 
2019-2020
Abstract: 

In the present work, we report the results of a series of experiments for the hydrogen production via steam reforming of methanol with Cu–SiO2 porous catalyst coated on the internal walls of a micro-reactor with parallel micro-passages. The catalyst was prepared by coating copper and silica nanoparticles on the internal surface of the microchannel via convective flow boiling heat transfer, followed by a calcination procedure at 973 K and therefore, the catalyst does not require any supportive material, which in turn reduced the complexity and cost of the preparation. The experiments were conducted at reactant flow rates of 0.1–0.9 lit/min, operating temperatures of 523–673 K, catalyst loading of 0.25 gr to 1.25 gr and at heat flux value of 500 kW/m2. Results of the experiments showed that the methanol conversion can reach 97% at catalyst loading of 1.25 gr. It was also found that with an increase in the gas hourly space velocity (GHSV) of the reactants, the methanol conversion decreases, which was attributed to the decrease in the residence time, the suppression in diffusion of reactants into the pores of the catalyst, and also the decrease in the average film temperature of the reactor. The highest methanol conversion was obtained at gas hourly space velocity of 24,000 ml/(gr.hr) and T = 773 K and for molar ratio of methanol to water of 0.1. The molar ratio of methanol to water also influenced the thermal response of the reactor such that the surface temperature profile of the micro-reactor was more decreased at low methanol/water molar ratios.