Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 561698
Title Predicting optimal temperature profiles in single-stage fixed-bed reactors for CO2-methanation
Author(s) Kiewidt, Lars; Thöming, Jorg
Source Chemical Engineering Science 132 (2015). - ISSN 0009-2509 - p. 59 - 71.
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) Chemical energy storage - Methanation - Process intensification - Semenov number - Thermal optimization

The catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide into methane, known as Sabatier process, is a promising option for chemical storage of excess renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission control. Typically externally cooled fixed-bed reactors (FBR) using supported nickel or ruthenium catalyst are applied. The Sabatier process, however, is strongly exothermic and leads to substantial hot spots within the reactor at stoichiometric feed ratios. Although high temperatures increase the reaction rate in general, they thermodynamically limit the achievable methane-yield in the Sabatier process. Here, we present an easy-to-use method based on a Semenov number optimization (SNO) to compute optimal axial temperature profiles in single-stage fixed-bed reactors that account for kinetic and thermodynamic limitations simultaneously, and thus result in maximized yield for a fixed reactor length. In a case study on CO2-methanation, these temperature profiles result in a twofold improvement of the methane-yield compared to isothermal and adiabatic operation, and thus demonstrate the high potential of thermal optimization that lies in the Sabatier process. The SNO-method provides a valuable tool to compute optimal temperature profiles, and allows intuitive insight into the key parameters for thermal process intensification. Further, it can readily be transferred to other processes that suffer from the dilemma between kinetic and thermodynamic limitations. Our findings illustrate the attractiveness of the SNO-method to compute optimal temperature profiles in fixed-bed reactors, and the need for catalyst supports with enhanced and tailorable heat transport properties.

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