Optimization of heat transfer characteristics, flow distribution, and reaction processing for a microstructured reactor/heat-exchanger for optimal performance in platinum catalyzed ammonia oxidation

Evgeny Rebrov, S.A. Duinkerke, M.H.J.M. De Croon, J.C. Schouten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present work is focused on the demonstration of the advantages of miniaturized reactor systems which are essential for processes where potential for considerable heat transfer intensification exists as well as for kinetic studies of highly exothermic reactions at near-isothermal conditions. The heat transfer characteristics of four different cross-flow designs of a microstructured reactor/heat-exchanger (MRHE) were studied by CFD simulation using ammonia oxidation on a platinum catalyst as a model reaction. An appropriate distribution of the nitrogen flow used as a coolant can decrease drastically the axial temperature gradient in the reaction channels. In case of a microreactor made of a highly conductive material, the temperature non-uniformity in the reactor is strongly dependent on the distance between the reaction and cooling channels. Appropriate design of a single periodic reactor/heat-exchanger unit, combined with a non-uniform inlet coolant distribution, reduces the temperature gradients in the complete reactor to less than 4degreesC, even at conditions corresponding to an adiabatic temperature rise of about 1400degreesC, which are generally not accessible in conventional reactors because of the danger of runaway reactions. To obtain the required coolant flow distribution, an optimization study was performed to acquire the particular geometry of the inlet and outlet chambers in the microreactor/heat-exchanger. The predicted temperature profiles are in good agreement with experimental data from temperature sensors located along the reactant and coolant flows. The results demonstrate the clear potential of microstructured devices as reliable instruments for kinetic research as well as for proper heat management in the case of highly exothermic reactions. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-216
Number of pages16
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume93
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Environmental Engineering

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