On concentration polarisation in a fluidized bed membrane reactor for biogas steam reforming: modelling and experimental validation

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The production of pure hydrogen through the steam reforming of biogas in a fluidized bed membrane reactor has been studied. A phenomenological one-dimensional two-phase fluidized bed reactor model accounting for concentration polarisation with a stagnant film model has been developed and used to investigate the system performance. The validation of the model was performed with steam reforming experiments at temperatures ranging from 435 °C up to 535 °C, pressures between 2 to 5 bar and CO2/CH4 ratios up to 0.9. The permeation performance of the ceramic-supported PdAg thin-film membrane was first characterized separately for both pure gas and gas mixtures. Subsequently, the membrane was immersed into a fluidized bed containing Rh supported on alumina particles and the reactor performance, viz. the methane conversion, hydrogen recovery and hydrogen purity, was evaluated under biogas steam reforming conditions. The resulting hydrogen purity under biogas steam reforming conditions was up to 99.8%. The model results were in very good agreement with the experimental results, when assuming a thickness of the stagnant mass transfer boundary layer around the membrane equal to 0.54 cm. It is shown that the effects of concentration polarisation in a fluidized bed membrane reactor can be well described with the implementation of a film layer description in the two-phase model.
De Nooijer, Niek, Fausto Gallucci, Emma Pellizzari, Jon Melendez, David Alfredo Pacheco Tanaka, Giampaolo Manzolini, and Martin van Sint Annaland. “On Concentration Polarisation in a Fluidized Bed Membrane Reactor for Biogas Steam Reforming: Modelling and Experimental Validation.” Chemical Engineering Journal 348 (September 2018): 232–243. doi:10.1016/j.cej.2018.04.205.