Table of Contents
ISRN Chemical Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 935750, 13 pages
Research Article

Hydrodynamics of a Novel Design Circulating Fluidized Bed Steam Reformer Operating in the Dense Suspension Upflow Regime

1Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Giza 12316, Egypt
2The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, TX 79762, USA

Received 14 October 2013; Accepted 11 December 2013; Published 10 February 2014

Academic Editors: G. Ahmadi and H. S. Roh

Copyright © 2014 Moataz Bellah M. Mousa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Circulating fluidized bed steam reformers (CFBSR) represent an important alternative for hydrogen production, a promising energy carrier. Although the reactor hydrodynamics play crucial role, modeling efforts to date are limited to one-dimensional models, thus ignoring many of the flow characteristics of fluidized beds that have strong effects on the reactor efficiency. The flow inside the riser is inherently complex and requires at least two-dimensional modeling to capture its details. In the present work, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of the hydrodynamics of the riser part of a novel CFBSR were carried out using two-phase Eulerian-Eulerian approach coupled with kinetic theory of granular flow and K-ε model. Cold flow simulations were carried under different fluidization regimes. It was found that catalyst of Geldart's type “A” particle is more efficient for flow inside the catalytic reactor and dense suspension upflow (DSU) fluidization regime yields the best homogeneous catalyst distribution in the riser and thus best reactor performance. The optimum range for catalyst flux was found to be higher than 1150 kg/m2·s for a gas flux of 6.78 kg/m2·s. It was also noted that the value of 500 Kg/m2·s for catalyst flux represents the critical value below which the riser will operate under pneumatic transport regime.