Optimizing Hydrogen Production from Methanol Reformers by Temperature Variation and Feed Ratio Using CFD

Document Type : ACEC-2023

Authors

1 Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Babol Noshirvani University of Technology, Babol, Iran

2 Northern Research Center for Science and Technology, Malek Ashtar University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Steam reformers are typically utilized in hydrogen production industry, demanding pressure vessels within methanol reformer systems operating at temperatures between 250-350°C to ensure cost-effectiveness. This characteristic makes them a superior choice for fuel cell systems. However, challenges arise in enhancing hydrogen gas production efficiency while minimizing carbon monoxide emissions. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has proven effective in addressing these challenges by simulating fluid behavior. This study delves into product production, reactant consumption using CFD, and investigates changes in physical parameters of methanol reformers to optimize their performance. The research involves 140 numerical simulations that examine the relationship between feeds (steam-to-carbon) and various temperatures, aiming to understand the concurrent effect of physical parameters. The results demonstrate that increasing temperature has a more significant impact on hydrogen production compared to increasing the feed ratio. This effect is particularly notable at lower fuel ratios. For example, at a feed ratio of 1, a temperature increase of 11.4°C leads to a substantial 5.4% rise in hydrogen production. However, at a higher feed ratio (1.98), the increase in hydrogen production is only 1.9% with the same temperature increase.

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