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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

PI: Lanny D. Schmidt, Associate Fellow

Two-dimensional and Three-dimensional Short-contact-time Reactor Modeling Using Detailed Chemistry

Short-contact-time reactors used for the autothermal reforming of alkanes to synthesis gas (syngas), olefins, and oxygenates have been studied extensively for the chemical manufacturing of carbon monoxide-free hydrogen streams for use in fuel cells. This research group is studying the autothermal reforming of alkanes, alcohols, bioliquids, and biomass to syngas and subsequent shift of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide to obtain pure hydrogen streams on noble metal catalysts in millisecond tubular reactors. A major focus has been the partial oxidation of methane to synthesis gas to better understand the reforming of natural gas. All of these projects involve coupling reaction kinetics with complex fluid dynamics to obtain models that describe these processes. Surface mechanisms for partial oxidation are constantly being updated. To accurately describe this system, water-gas shift and methanation kinetics are being added to the elementary multi-step mechanism in order to describe the addition of steam to the system. The researchers use FLUENT to couple catalytic surface reactions, heat transfer, and fluid dynamics to describe the reacting system in two dimensions.

Group Member

Anders Bitsch-Larsen, Graduate Student
John Colby, Graduate Student
Paul Dauenhauer, Graduate Student
Nick Degenstein, Collaborator
Alessandro Donazzi, Visiting Researcher
Bradon Dreyer, Graduate Student
Mark Huberty, Graduate Student
Brian Michael, Graduate Student
David Rennard, Graduate Student
Jason Walker, Graduate Student
Kenneth Williams, Graduate Student