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Ultra-clean Hydrogen Production by Ammonia Decomposition


A rigorous heterogeneous mathematical model is used to simulate a cascade of multi-stage fixed bed membrane reactors (MSFBMR) with inter-stage heating and fresh sweep gas for the decomposition of ammonia to produce high purity hydrogen suitable for the PEM fuel cells. Different reactor configurations are compared. The comparison between a single fixed bed reactor (FBR) and a single fixed bed membrane reactor (FBMR) shows that the FBMR is superior to the FBR and gives 60.48% ammonia conversion higher than the FBR. However, 20.91% exit ammonia conversion obtained by the FBMR is considered to be poor. The FBMR is limited by the kinetics at low temperatures. The numerical results show that the MSFBMR of four beds achieve 100.0% ammonia conversion. It was found that the membrane plays the prime role in the displacement of the thermodynamic equilibrium. The results also show that, a linear relationship exists between the number of beds and the feed temperature and a correlation has been developed. A critical point for an effective hydrogen permeation zone has been identified. It is observed that the diffusion limitation is confined to a slim region at the entrance of the reactor. It is also observed that the heat load assumes a maximum inflection point and explanations offered. The results show that the multi-stage configuration has a promising potential to be applied successfully on-site for ultra-clean hydrogen production.

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Saudi Arabia

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