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Membrane Reactor

A.A Babiker, M.A Mohammed, S.A Makki, W.A Mohammed,

K.M Wagialla
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering,
University of Khartoum Nov, 2016


Membrane, Reforming, Matlab,
Optimization, Modelling.

A mathematical modeling framework a membrane reactor is just a plug
for the methane steam reforming flow reactor that contains an
reaction operation in steady state has additional cylinder with some porous
been developed. material within it, kind of like the
Performances are compared between tube within the shell of a shell-and-
the classic catalytic packed bed tube heat exchanger. This porous
reactor and Pd-based catalytic inner cylinder is the membrane that
membrane reactor. gives membrane reactor it is name.
Isothermal simulation using MATLAB
was conducted and the results Palladium Membranes:
showed a higher performance of the
membrane reactor over the PBR.
The progress in the field of palladium-
Optimum performances are reached
with an increase of the operating based MRs is due to their capacity to
pressure. produce a pure hydrogen stream,
owing to infinite hydrogen perm-
: selectivity with respect to all other


Hydrogen is the most basic of all
earth elements, the hydrogen atom is
made up of a single proton and a
single electron as such it is very
abundant but it doesnt really exist as
Problem Statement:
a separator from the mater instead it
is usually combined with other Methane-Steam reforming equation:
elements to separate hydrogen gas
from it is companion substances takes 1. CH4 + H2 o Co + 3H2
a lot of work but it produces a H= 206 KJ/moL - (1)
powerfully and efficient clean source
of energy as a gas which can be used 2. CO +H2 o CO2 + H2
in fuel cells to power engines. H= -41 KJ/moL - (2)
The total hydrogen produced today 3. CH4 + 2H2o CO2 + 4H2
(65 million of tons per year).
H= 165 KJ/moL - (3)

Steam Reforming: Table (1): Rate parameters:

Steam reforming is the most No. E
important route for large scale of . 0.5 Kj/mol
manufacture of hydrogen for rxn .
refineries in general, The auto Rxn 1 1.8 e-4 240.1 0.01
thermal reforming process is Rxn 2 7.6 67.1 0.3
competitive with Steam reforming Rxn 3 2.2 e-5 243.9 0.01
only for large applications as GTL
plants or if oxygen or enriched air are
available at low cost since the use of
natural air for methane combustion
would not allow the high
temperature required by reactions to
be reached.

Results: Effect of Reactor length:
The effect of length is directly
The simulation was completed using
proportional to the temperature and
Matlab R2010a. Results of the
pressure of the reactor. It can be seen
simulation and of industrial reactor
(Engin Ayturk 2009) showed a good in figure 1 that the fractional
agreement. The fractional conversion conversion of CH4 is maintained
of methane increases continuously constant after 2.5 m.
along the reactor length.

Effect of Temperature:
In figures (2-4) it can be seen that the
fractional conversion of Ch4, Co2 and
H2 will increase and almost reach
100% full conversion as temperature

Effect of Pressure
Also in figures (2-4) it can be seen
Figure (1) Fractional conversion of that the effect or pressure on the
Methane along the reactor length. membrane reactor is opposite to the
PBR, when the pressure is increased
the conversion in the PBR is
Sensitivity Analysis: decreasing while for the membrane
In the following figures, sensitivity
analysis was developed for different
ranges of operating conditions
(Temperature, pressure and reactor

Figure (2) Fractional conversion of Figure (4) Hydrogen production vs.
methane vs. temperature temperature

Figure (3) Fractional Conversion of

2 vs. temperature

An isothermal mathematical model
for MatLab simulation has been 1. Institute on Membrane
created .These results have been Technology, CNR-ITM at University
compared with multiple sources, of Calabria, An Introduction to
allowing us to validate our model
Membrane Science and
.Therefore the model could be used
to simulate industrial reactors for the Technology Heiner Strathmann,
steam reforming of Methane. Lidietta Giorno, Enrico Drioli P.
Simulation of the effects of inlet feed Bucci 17/C, 87036 Rende (CS),
temperature, pressure and length. Italy.
From the sensitivity analysis 2. Marcello De Falco , Luigi Marrelli ,
performed, it can be seen that Gaetano Iaquaniello Membrane
optimum inlet temperature is Reactors for Hydrogen Production
500:600 K, and the optimum pressure Procces.
is 16:40 bar, optimum length is 5:10

The models developed on this basis
are only valid for the operating
conditions that were used during the
acquisition of the kinetic data.
Thus these models are not reliable
over a range of operating and design
conditions than that under which
they were gathered. Nerveless
further work has to be conducted at
different ranges of operating