Optimizing the Micro-Channels Features in a Ceramic Heat Exchanger for Sulphuric Acid Decomposition
Merrill A. Wilson1, Charles Lewinsohn1, James Cutts2, E. N. Wright3, and Valery I. Ponyavin4. (1) Ceramatec, Inc., 2425 South 900 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84119, (2) Ceramatec Inc., 2425 S 900 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84119, (3) Material Science and Engineering, University of Utah, 2625 Solar Circle, Salt Lake City, UT 84124, (4) Mechanical Engineering, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4027
It has been proposed that compact ceramic heat exchangers can be used for high temperature, corrosive applications. This paper discusses the development and optimization of a micro-channel heat exchanger for the decomposition of sulfuric acid as part of the hydrogen producing Sulphur-Iodine (SI) thermo-chemical cycle. The optimization process combines thermal-hydraulic and structural modelling, materials testing, component fabrication and performance testing. Based on a shell and plate design, modular stacks of microchannel containing plates form the primary heat exchange surfaces in a compact arrangement. These modules enable scaling to commercial-scale processes; the microchannels enhance the heat transfer while maintaining low pressure drops within the system. The ceramic materials provide for long-life applications. The feasibility of this compact heat exchanger was assessed through thermal and mechanical models and by flow testing of as-fabricated components. The results of this design effort with its associated performance goals and development status will be reported.