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Category: Equipment Design
Question: I would like to know how to size a partial combustion reactor processing methane and oxygen, as a function of the flowrate and of the pressure.
Keywords: partial,combustion,reactor,methane,oxygen
Answer: In your case, you essentially have two reactions:CH4 + 3/2 O2 ---> CO + 2 H2O (incomplete combustion)CH4 + 2 O2 ---> CO2 + 2 H2O (complete combustion)each of these reactions has a specific rate at which it occurs. If you wanted to design a reactor properly, you'd need to determine the conversion of methane in each of the above reactions. The upper limit of your flowrate is bound by the rate of reaction. If the flowrate is too high, the reaction simply won't take place (ie. the flame will burn out). I'm not sure that there is a simple relationship between pressure and flowrate in this case. The gases need to spend a certain amount of time in the reactor in order for the combustion to take place (residence time). Once you know the residence time, you could design a reactor for your specific flowrate. I expect that the residence time for a combustion reaction of this sort would be very small, although I cannot find an estimate anywhere. I recommend contacting the following people who should certainly be of more assistance:1. Combustion and Fuels Research LaboratoryDepartment of Mechanical EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege Station, TX 77843-3123(409) 845-47052. Naval Research LaboratoryDr. Ronald S. SheinsonWashington, DC 20375(202) 404-8101**Uses 28 m3, 56 m3, and 840 m3 fire test compartments3. Dr. David T. Pratt**Specializes in computational modeling of combustion processesContact him with the link below
Links: Contact Dr. David Pratt