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Research Papers: Two-Phase Flow and Heat Transfer

A Computational Fluid Dynamics Study on the Effect of Carbon Particle Seeding for the Improvement of Solar Reactor Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
Nesrin Ozalp

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University at Qatar, P.O. Box 23874, Doha, Qatarnesrin.ozalp@qatar.tamu.eduMEEN Research, Texas A&M University at Qatar, P.O. Box 23874, Doha, Qatarnesrin.ozalp@qatar.tamu.edu

Anoop Kanjirakat

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University at Qatar, P.O. Box 23874, Doha, Qataranoop.baby@qatar.tamu.eduMEEN Research, Texas A&M University at Qatar, P.O. Box 23874, Doha, Qataranoop.baby@qatar.tamu.edu

J. Heat Transfer 132(12), 122901 (Sep 22, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002173 History: Received January 25, 2010; Revised June 28, 2010; Published September 22, 2010; Online September 22, 2010

This study focuses on a technique, referred to as “solar cracking” of natural gas for the coproduction of hydrogen and carbon as byproduct with zero emission footprint. Seeding a solar reactor with micron-sized carbon particles increases the conversion efficiency drastically due to the radiation absorbed by the carbon particles and additional nucleation sites formed by carbon particles for heterogeneous decomposition reaction. The present study numerically tries to investigate the above fact by tracking carbon particles in a Lagrangian framework. The results on the effect of particle loading, particle emissivity, injection point location, and effect of using different window screening gases on a flow and temperature distribution inside a confined tornado flow reactor are presented.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Geometry used for simulation

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Figure 2

Particle concentration contour on reactor window: (a) for case #1 and (b) case #8. Contours colored by DPM concentration (kg/m3).

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Figure 3

Temperature distribution inside reactor: (a) without particle seeding and (b) with particle seeding. Contours colored by static temperature (K).

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Figure 4

Comparison of DPM with Mie theory

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Figure 5

Effect of particle emissivity on axial temperature distribution

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Figure 6

Effect of particle loading on reactor exit gas temperature

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Figure 7

Temperature distribution inside the reactor when: (a) hydrogen, (b) helium, and (c) nitrogen are used as screening gases. Contours colored by static temperature (K).

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Figure 8

DPM particle concentration on reactor window when: (a) nitrogen, (b) helium, and (c) hydrogen are used as screening gases. Contours colored by DPM concentration (kg/m3).

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Figure 9

Particle tracks colored by particle temperature when particle injection is given: (a) at a lower position (FS3) and (b) at a higher position (FS1)

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Figure 10

Mass fraction contours of methane: (a) without particle seeding and (b) with particle seeding

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