Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Fluidized Bed Reactor Engines Public Deposited

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  • Repurposing internal combustion engines as petrochemical reactors (i.e., Reactor engines) could offer a smaller, scalable alternative to traditional full scale chemical processing facilities. For many chemical processes, incorporating catalyst particles in fluidized beds is expected to result in superior performance over both monoliths and packed beds. Conversion of ethane into ethylene was the example evaluated in this work, however use of a reactor engine for other chemical processes might prove advantageous. Analytical work, simulations conducted using ANSYS Fluent, and experiments indicate that particle fluidization in a conventional fluidized bed can only be achieved at speeds well below engine rotational speeds needed to yield an appreciable output quantity. A rotating fluidized bed (RFB) in static geometry could allow for particle fluidization at higher engine speeds. The impact of RFB design parameters on particle fluidization and pressure drop across the particle bed was investigated through simulations. Based on the simulations and laboratory testing, an RFB design for the reactor engine application was selected, simulations were validated at low temperatures and flow rates, and simulations at engine conditions indicated particle fluidization. Simulations incorporating ethane-to-ethylene chemistry for the selected RFB design at engine conditions indicated an outlet product mass fraction of approximately 0.14.
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