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Heat Transfer Limitations in Hydrogen Production via Steam Reformation: The Effect of Reactor Geometry

UCD-ITS-RP-06-21

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Hydrogen Pathways Program

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Proceedings of the ASME 4th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, Irvine, CA, June 19 - 21, 2006

Hydrogen can be produced in a variety of methods including steam-reformation of hydrocarbon fuels. In past studies the quasi non-dimensional space velocity parameter (inverse residence time) has been shown to be insufficient in accurately predicting fuel conversion in hydrocarbon-steam reformation. Heat transfer limitations have been manifest with reactors of different geometries. In order to achieve ideal fuel conversion, the heat transfer limitations and the changes of these limitations with respect to geometry must be considered in the reactor design. In this investigation, axial and radial temperature profiles are presented from reactors of different aspect ratios while holding space velocity constant. Using both the temperature profile information as well as the traditional space velocity limitations one may be able to develop an optimal reactor design.