A numerical performance study of a fixed-bed reactor for methanol synthesis by CO2 hydrogenation

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Abstract

Synthetic fuels are needed to replace their fossil counterparts for clean transport. Presently, their production is still inefficient and costly. To enhance the process of methanol production from CO2 and H2 and reduce its cost, a particle-resolved numerical simulation tool is presented. A global surface reaction model based on the Langmuir-Hinshelwood-Hougen-Watson kinetics is utilized. The approach is first validated against standard benchmark problems for non-reacting and reacting cases. Next, the method is applied to study the performance of methanol production in a 2D fixed-bed reactor under a range of parameters. It is found that methanol yield enhances with pressure, catalyst loading, reactant ratio, and packing density. The yield diminishes with temperature at adiabatic conditions, while it shows non-monotonic change for the studied isothermal cases. Overall, the staggered and the random catalyst configurations are found to outperform the in-line system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15635-15648
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume46
Issue number29
Early online date6 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Catalyst particles
  • CFD
  • CO hydrogenation
  • Methanol synthesis
  • OpenFOAM

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