Application of a CFD code (FLUENT) to formulate models of catalytic gas phase reactions in porous catalyst pellets

S T Kolaczkowski, R Chao, S Awdry, A Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A method is described by which a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) code known as FLUENT, may be adapted to model the reactions that take place inside catalyst structures. To test the CFD code, simulations of gas flow in a circular tube are performed and compared with anal. solns. Then the coupled processes of diffusion and chem. reaction, combined with heat and mass transfer effects are modeled in a catalyst pellet. To illustrate the technique, the catalytic combustion of propane is simulated in spherical and cylindrical shaped pellets, at gas temps. from 500-700 K and at atm. pressure. To help validate the approach adopted, the results of the CFD simulations are compared with solns. obtained from a one-dimensional model using MATLAB. It is shown that the CFD simulations provide comparable results with MATLAB, and that the CFD code can provide valuable addnl. information about temp. and concn. gradients in and around the catalyst pellet-this is not available in a simple one-dimensional approach. It is discussed how the technique could be extended to model reactions in a packed bed which would be a valuable design tool.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1539-1552
Number of pages14
JournalChemical Engineering Research & Design
Volume85
Issue numberA11
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • gas phase reaction porous catalyst pellet modeling FLUENT code
  • Mass transfer (application of computational fluid dynamic code to formulate models of catalytic gas phase reactions in porous catalyst pellets)
  • Catalysts (porous
  • Reaction (gas-phase
  • application of computational fluid dynamic code to formulate models of catalytic gas phase reactions in porous catalyst pellets)
  • Heat transfer
  • Combustion

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