Authors: Antonio Di Nardo, Elisa Savuto, Giorgio Calchetti, Stefano Stendardo
ENEA, Energy Technology Department, Casaccia Research Center, Via Anguillarese 301, Rome 00123, Italy
Source: This paper was published in Powder Technology.
Abstract: Sorption enhanced steam methane reforming (SE-SMR) is an efficient hydrogen production technology that combines steam methane reforming with CO2 capture. Reactions are shifted over their thermodynamic limits and hydrogen yield is enhanced, in more favorable thermodynamic conditions. Bifunctional sorbent-catalyst particles have been developed to assure stability over multiple cycles and to make the endothermic methane reforming and the exothermic CO2 capture completely integrated. Moreover, handling one granular material simplifies system management, reduces bed inventory and avoids the problem of segregation in case of two separated materials. The continuous and simultaneous operation of the process in a dual fluidized bed reactor (DFB), which combines a reformer and a calciner, for sorbent regeneration through high temperature calcination, increases productivity and allows a greater optimization.
Aim of this work is the 3D simulation of the SE-SMR process in a DFB reactor, by the Computational Particle Fluid Dynamics (CPFD) method of the Barracuda VR® software. The simulation results in terms of solid flow, pressure balance and particles segregation are reported. A post-processing routine has been written to characterize bubbles in the two fluidized beds. The effects of bed inventory, superficial velocity and steam to methane ratio on hydrogen purity and methane conversion are discussed in the paper.