Fischer Tropsch Platform Enhanced by High Thermal Conductivity Catalysts

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Ryman Hall B1/B2 (Gaylord Opryland Hotel)

Tunde Dokun, Department of Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Don Cahela, Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Symon Sheng, Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Hongyun Yang, Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Dr. Bruce Tatarchuk, Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

In using a Micro-Fibrous Entrapped Catalyst, MFEC, we simulate and accurately model a Fischer Tropsch reactor which will meet the Navy's requirement of producing JP-5 for portability, process robustness, and volume productivity from a catalyzed reaction involving Syngas (CO2 and H2). MFEC is comprised of a small grain catalyst; Alumina supported Cobalt catalyst, entrapped within a sinter-locked network of a metal, Stainless Steel and Copper micro fiber. With the use of this metal fiber network, we are able to increase the effective thermal conductivity within the reactor by about 50%, and reduce hot spots within the reactor and increase selectivity for JP5 production. MFEC are readily manufactured and provide high intraparticle and mass transport properties.

This poster will incorporate areas of applied fluid mechanics and a mathematical model of transport processes. Using an implicit finite different scheme, we are able to determine the reactor temperature profile by modeling a plug flow reactor which includes the energy balances on the gas phase. The catalyst temperature will be assumed to be uniform inside the catalyst particles, so all heat of reaction is generated inside the catalyst particles. This model takes into account the detailed kinetics of the FTS and water gas shift reaction.

The application of applied mathematics and numerical methods in solving these sets of differential equations is the key to fully understanding the temperature profile. By effectively designing an FTS reactor that has limited heat transfer issues, an optimized balance of plant can be achieved; where the operating equipments are limited by the weight and volume criteria due to selective production and separation for JP-5.

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See more of this Session: Poster Session: Systems and Process Design
See more of this Group/Topical: Computing and Systems Technology Division