Putting CO2 to use: CFD-DEM modeling of super-dry reforming reactors using detailed kinetic models

01 October 2021 → Ongoing
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Reacting systems
    • Chemical kinetics and thermodynamics
    • Modelling, simulation and optimisation
    • (Multiphase) flow
    • Heat and mass transfer
multiscale modeling computational fluid dynamics chemical looping
Project description

Intensification of existing gas-solid processes such as steam reforming and fluid catalytic cracking, and the development of novel Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) technologies will be of tremendous importance for the chemical industry to become CO2 neutral. Fundamental multiscale modeling will be a key ingredient to optimize existing reactor configurations, develop novel reactor concepts and eventually to scale-up these processes. Detailed microkinetic models are therefore needed, in combination with 3D particle-resolved computational fluid dynamics (CFD-DEM) to predict flow fields and transport phenomena. This research proposal is divided in three work packages: development of the CFD-DEM framework with detailed chemistry, validation by comparison with experimental data, and using the validated framework for process intensification and advanced reactor design. The main application that is considered is super-dry reforming (SDR) of methane, which recently has been patented at LCT, and which intensifies CO2 conversion by using a chemical looping approach. This allows to convert more CO2 per molecule of CH4 compared to conventional dry reforming. CFD-DEM allows to accurately design and hence also compare packed bed reactor configurations and circulating fluidized bed reactors, both of which are today being considered for SDR. Using the new CFD-DEM framework, it will be possible to design and optimize the operating conditions for SDR, hence revolutionizing the CCU field.