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Kinetics and Reactor Modeling of Methanol Synthesis from Synthesis Gas

H. Bakhtiary, F. Hayer, H. Venvik, A. Holmen
Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim

Methanol synthesis is a typical reaction in heterogeneous catalysis. In this work, we have studied a laboratory fixed-bed reactor packed with a Cu/Zn/Al2O3 catalyst in both adiabatic and isothermal tubular operational modes. A methanol synthesis kinetic model was implemented in COMSOL Reaction Engineering Lab. Both 1D and 2D pseudo-homogeneous dispersion models were applied to describe the mass and heat transfer in the reactor.

Simulation of the reactor for the given operational conditions has been carried out to estimate reactor conversion and radial and axial temperature profiles. The effect of reactor shell temperature on the conversion has been studied and reported. Comparison of the results with similar work shows a good agreement.