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A Numerical Performance Study of a Fixed-bed Reactor for Methanol Synthesis by CO2 Hydrogenation


Synthetic fuels are needed to replace their fossil counterparts for clean transport. Presently, their production is still inefficient and costly. To enhance the process of methanol production from CO2 and H2 and reduce its cost, a particle-resolved numerical simulation tool is presented. A global surface reaction model based on the Langmuir-Hinshelwood-Hougen-Watson kinetics is utilized. The approach is first validated against standard benchmark problems for non-reacting and reacting cases. Next, the method is applied to study the performance of methanol production in a 2D fixed-bed reactor under a range of parameters. It is found that methanol yield enhances with pressure, catalyst loading, reactant ratio, and packing density. The yield diminishes with temperature at adiabatic conditions, while it shows non-monotonic change for the studied isothermal cases. Overall, the staggered and the random catalyst configurations are found to outperform the in-line system.

Funding source: Academy of Finland; Energy Storage; Aalto University; Business Finland
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Finland

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