2007 Volume 40 Issue 4 Pages 319-328
A compact plate methane steam reformer consisting of closely spaced plates of electrically heated alumite catalysts (EHAC), in which endothermic and exothermic reactions take place in the alternate channels, has been numerically studied. One reforming channel was integrated with two combustion channels to constitute a single reformer unit, which was easily placed and scaled up. Furthermore, the novel catalyst, i.e., EHAC, made by an anodization technology, has the characteristic of being electrified through itself, which was applied in the start-up acceleration strategy. To investigate the performance of the reformer in different operation situations, 2-D steady-state and dynamic multiphase models for heat and mass transfer coupling with velocity distribution were carried out in this work. The results from the steady-state simulation suggested that the inlet temperature and gas flow directions played important roles in the performance of methane steam reforming reactions. Dynamic simulation results show that the start-up process took 45 min without any acceleration strategies, while it took no more than 10 min in the case of with electrically heating at the beginning of the process.