Computationally efficient CFD model for scale-up of bubbling fluidized bed reactors applied to sorption-enhanced steam methane reforming

Carlos Herce, Cristóbal Cortés, Stefano Stendardo

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Sorption-Enhanced Steam Methane Reforming (SE-SMR) represents a novel and energy-efficient hydrogen production route with in situ CO2capture. A comprehensive Eulerian-Eulerian CFD model of SE-SMR in a bubbling fluidized bed reactor, that uses dolomite and other solid sorbents as CO2acceptors, has been developed. Kinetic models for steam methane reforming and CO2capture have been implemented. In addition, a new particle drag model has been derived from customary formulas in order to reduce the computational cost. Two different scales have been studied: laboratory and semi-industrial. Results of the computation are in good agreement with literature data at both scales (SMR H2= 76–78% vs. SE-SMR H2= 90–96% dry basis mole fraction). Numerical simulations demonstrate that CO2capture is the kinetic limiting step of the SE-SMR mechanism, as compared to steam methane reforming. Temperature is shown to be the key parameter of the SE-SMR chemical process at large scales, and an optimal T = 625 °C is estimated. Additionally, compared with the classical approaches, the new drag model provides seemingly realistic predictions within the multiple bubble regime, at a low computational cost and using a coarse grid. This represents a further advance for the scaling-up of the reactor to industrial sizes based on numerical simulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747 - 761
Number of pages15
JournalFuel Processing Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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