Solar thermal cracking of natural gas is a promising process for hydrogen production because of its emission-free nature and yield of industrial grade carbon as byproduct. Solar reactors, where the two-phase solar thermochemical reaction takes place, are nearly experimentally inaccessible. Most instruments capable of measuring fluid flow cannot survive the harsh temperatures inside the reactor. As such computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been relied on to provide insight into the flow within the reactor. This paper presents the results of three dimensional CFD analysis of the solar reactor developed at Texas A&M University at Qatar by considering gas-particle transport with heat transfer, species transport and chemical kinetics using TAMU-Q supercomputing facilities. The results shows that a laminar flow shield on reactor walls and a vortex flow inside the reactor enhances the residence time and significantly reduces carbon deposition and clogging. The results also show that guide-vanes type of parallel carved channels on reactor walls creates better vortex.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||PRES 2010 - 13th International Conference on Process Integration, Modelling and Optimisation for Energy Saving and Pollution Reduction|
|Publisher||Italian Association of Chemical Engineering - AIDIC|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2010|