The International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow vol:40 pages:198-209
Solar cracking of methane is considered to be an attractive option due to its CO2 free hydrogen production process. Carbon particle deposition on the reactor window, walls and exit is a major obstacle to achieve continuous operation of methane cracking solar reactors. As a solution to this problem a novel “aero-shielded solar cyclone reactor” was created. In this present study the prediction of particle deposition at various locations for the aero-shielded reactor is numerically investigated by a Lagrangian particle dispersion model. A detailed three dimensional computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis for carbon deposition at the reactor window, walls and exit is presented using a Discrete Phase Model (DPM). The flow field is based on a RNG k–ε model and species transport with methane as the main flow and argon/ hydrogen as window and wall screening fluid. Flow behavior and particle deposition have been observed with the variation of main flow rates from 10–20 L/min and with carbon particle mass flow rate of 7 × 10−6 and 1.75 × 10−5 kg/s. In this study the window and wall screening flow rates have been considered to be 1 L/min and 10 L/min by employing either argon or hydrogen. Also, to study the effect of particle size simulations have also been carried out (i) with a variation of particle diameter with a size distribution of 0.5–234 μm and (ii) by taking 40 μm mono sized particles which is the mean value for the considered size distribution. Results show that by appropriately selecting the above parameters, the concept of the aero-shielded reactor can be an attractive option to resolve the problem of carbon deposition at the window, walls and exit of the reactor.