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Computational Fluid Dynamics for Microreactors Used in Catalytic Oxidation of Propane

S. Odiba[1], M. Olea[1], S. Hodgson[1], A. Adgar[1]
[1]Teesside University, School of Science and Engineering, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom

This research deals with the design of suitable microreactors for the catalytic oxidation of volatile organic compound (VOCs), using propane as a model molecule. The microreactor considered consists of eleven parallel channels, in which an Au/Cr/γ-Al2O3-catalyzed combustion reaction takes place. Each channel is 0.5 mm diameter and 100 mm long. The catalytic microreactor was simulated for temperatures between 563 K and 663 K and inlet flow velocities between 0.05 and 1 m/s. As expected, the propane conversion increased quickly with increasing temperature for a fixed inlet flow velocity. For a fixed temperature, the propane conversion increased as the inlet flow velocity decreased. The simulated results have revealed that higher conversion rates of propane can be achieved by decreasing inlet gas velocity from 1 m/s to 0.01 m/s and increasing temperature from 593 K to 663 K.