Reactor Design Improvements for a Propane Autothermal Reformer by Simulation of Momentum Flow

F. Cipitì, L. Pino, A. Vita, M. Laganà, and V. Recupero
CNR-ITAE, Messina

The paper presents a two-dimensional model to describe the gas flow in a propane autothermal reactor, developed at the CNR-ITAE Institute, and aimed to design a Beta 5 kWe hydrogen generator, named HYGen II, to be used with Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells (PEFCs) for residential applications.

The main aim of the mathematical model was to optimize the reactor geometrical key parameters (diameter and length of catalyst bed, diameter and shape of the catalyst, etc,) by parametric analysis.

The distribution of the linear velocity in different sections of the reactor were evaluated, in order to identify the best location to place the catalyst bed. Based upon the above considerations, a mathematical model, based on momentum balances, has been developed.