Reacting Flows

Steam Methane Reformer for Syngas

Adding heat and steam to methane (CH4) results in syngas: a mixture of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2). This process can be used to create hydrogen for use in fuel cells. Alternatively, the syngas can be used as feedstock for the production of liquid fuels using the Fischer-Tropsch or Mobil processes. These pathways are important for development of biofuels (ethanol and bio-diesel from biomass) and other fuels and fuel oils as part of coal-to-liquid (CTL) and natural gas to liquid (GTL) refining.

SINDA/FLUINT (via Thermal Desktop® with FloCAD®) offers important functionality for the design and simulation of such systems, including:

  • Equilibrium reactions, finite-rate kinetics (“reacting flows”), or both within one system
  • Detailed analysis of heat transfer and heat exchange equipment for concurrent design of realistic reformer geometries
  • Inclusion of the entire process (e.g., steam generation)
  • Ability to resolve fast time scales for stability investigations and evaluations of control strategies
  • Orders of magnitude faster solutions than CFD, enabling sizing and sensitivity studies

A set of thermohydraulic models is available that focus on a plug-flow reactor (PFR) arrangement for a simplified methane steam reformer. The models are available in FloCAD format, and include:

  • Validation against other tools and methods
  • Demonstration of finite-rate kinetics (reacting flows) using Arrhenius-type coefficients
  • Demonstration of equilibrium chemistry co-solved with thermal/fluid equations
  • Demonstration of steady-state and fast transient solutions (e.g., control time scales)
  • Use of chemical equilibrium software for generation of fluid properties, including “equilibrium fluids”
  • Discussion of methods for including coke (carbon) formation

Click here to fetch the Methane Reforming Example from our User Forum

See also: Flow Battery Electrochemical Example