Efficiency of Zn/TiO2 catalyst operation in a microchannel reactor in methanol steam reforming
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The activity of a Zn/TiO2 catalyst deposited on metal microchannel plates in methanol steam reforming was studied. The catalyst exhibited maximum activity upon deposition on microchannel plates made of copper foam. In this case, the specific hydrogen production of a microreactor at 450°C was 78.6 l (g Cat)−1 h−1. The catalysts deposited on a microchannel plate of nickel foam and on corrugated brass foil exhibited lower activity because of the lower efficiency of heat transfer to the reaction zone. A correlation between the thermal conductivity of the microchannel plate material and the activity of the catalyst was observed in the following order: copper, brass, and nickel. The kinetic parameters of the process of methanol steam reforming in a microreactor were calculated with the use of a plug-flow reactor model. In this case, the calculated formal activation energy of 132 kJ/mol was independent of the microchannel plate material. A comparison of the equilibrium concentrations of reaction products at the reactor outlet, which were calculated from thermodynamic data, with the experimental data demonstrated that methanol steam reforming at a temperature higher than 400°C occurred in the nonequilibrium region. The concentration of carbon monoxide at the microreactor outlet was lower than 1 mol %, which is lower than the equilibrium concentration by one order of magnitude. This effect was attributed to the suppression of the reversed water gas shift reaction on the catalyst.
KeywordsFoam Hydrogen Production Nickel Foam Methanol Conversion Microchannel Plate
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