Modeling study of 5 kWe-scale autothermal diesel fuel reformer
Journal article, 2011
A model was developed that successfully describes key operating features of a 5 kWe-scale autothermal diesel fuel reformer with an engineered monolith-supported Rh based catalyst. The model consisted of a kinetic model comprised of four overall reactions including total oxidation, fuel steam reforming, methane formation via fuel decomposition and the water–gas shift reaction. The model also accounted for heat and mass transport effects that were of importance when coupling the exothermic oxidation reactions with endothermic steam reforming reactions in a full-scale reformer. According to the model, the total oxidation and steam reforming reactions occurred simultaneously, however the heat effects of the oxidation reaction dominated near the reactor inlet resulting in a local hot spot. Transport resistances were found to hinder the rates of the main reactions, especially at higher temperature operating conditions. The model was primarily based on experimental data for a commercial low-sulphur diesel fuel (MK1), however it was found to also reasonably well describe the operation of the reactor with a diesel surrogate (n-tetradecane).