Computational Analysis of Catalytic Steam-Alcohol Processes in Micro-Structured Heterogeneous Reaction Systems for Hydrogen Production

16 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2022

See all articles by Junjie Chen

Junjie Chen

Henan Polytechnic University

Date Written: August 6, 2022


Despite extensive study of the process of steam reforming in micro-structured chemical reactors, the effects of different factors on efficiency and performance have not been well studied. In the present study, various flow velocity arrangements were used and different flow rate methods were employed for a micro-structured steam reforming reactor. To maximize the yield of the desired product and minimize the amount of the catalyst, the effect of flow rate on efficiency and performance was evaluated in various situations. Computational fluid dynamics simulations were performed with respect to various factors pertaining to the reactor. Steady-state analyses were carried out to investigate the effects of various key parameters on processes such as chemical reactions or heat and mass transfer in the system. The objective is to investigate the effect of flow rate on the efficiency and performance of micro-structured heterogeneous reaction systems. Particular emphasis is placed on the dependence of reaction and transport processes on various factors pertaining to the reactor, with an attempt to provide heterogeneous reaction systems with improved efficiency and performance for use in micro-structured steam reforming reactors. The results indicated that the change in specific enthalpy is positive for the exothermic reaction and negative for the endothermic reaction. The change in specific sensible enthalpy is always positive, especially for the exothermic process. Complete conversion can be achieved at millisecond residence times. A proper balance of the flow rates is crucial in achieving this conversion. The maximum power generated is determined by extinction at large reforming stream flow rates. Materials stability determines the lower power limit for a given flow rate of combustible mixture. The operation window of a microdevice is delimited by materials stability in terms of reasonable device temperatures at sufficiently slow flows and by extinction caused from fast flows.

Keywords: Hydrogen production; Chemical reactions; Fuel cells; Flow rates; Autothermal reactors; Steam reforming

Suggested Citation

Chen, Junjie, Computational Analysis of Catalytic Steam-Alcohol Processes in Micro-Structured Heterogeneous Reaction Systems for Hydrogen Production (August 6, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Junjie Chen (Contact Author)

Henan Polytechnic University ( email )

Department of Energy and Power Engineering
School of Mechanical and Power Engineering
Jiaozuo, Henan 454000

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