Existing chemical reactors are approaching their technological limits. In order to make more significant progress in the energy efficiency of bulk chemical production processes, a radical shift in technology is needed. The research was aimed at gaining some fundamental insight in the operation of the Pulsed Compression Reactor (PCR) in general, as well as the specific application for syngas generation from methane. The research can be divided into three parts: an investigation of heat transfer from the hot gas to the reactor walls and piston, an investigation of the chemistry of both partial oxidation of methane as well as steam reforming and the investigation of the stability of the PCR piston reciprocation. To investigate the heat transfer from the hot gas to the reactor walls and piston two approaches were used. This was used to derive an empirical relation between the heat loss from the compressed gas in a single shot reactor and the compression pressure. This relation gives insight into the effect that the reactor walls and piston have on the chemistry occurring in the single shot reactor. In the investigation of syngas generation from methane, the chemistry of both partial oxidation and steam reforming of methane were investigated in a single shot reactor. This was done both experimentally and by simulations of the process using models with detailed chemistry. Lastly, an analysis of the experimental and numerical data obtained yielded a theory that describes the behavior of the PCR in continuous reciprocation with respect to reciprocation stability. It was shown that, if a point exists where the energy release of chemical reactions exactly compensates the energy losses, reciprocation will always converge to this point or cease. This is an important result with respect to the safety issues associated with the PCR operation.
|Award date||21 Jan 2011|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Jan 2011|