Driven by both environmental and economic reasons, the development of small to medium scale GTL(gasto- liquid) process for offshore applications and for utilizing other stranded or associated gas has recently been studied increasingly. Microchannel GTL reactors have been prefrered over the conventional GTL reactors for such applications, due to its compactness, and additional advantages of small heat and mass transfer distance desired for high heat transfer performance and reactor conversion. In this work, multi-microchannel reactor was simulated by using commercial CFD code, ANSYS FLUENT, to study the geometric effect of the microchannels on the heat transfer phenomena. A heat generation curve was first calculated by modeling a Fischer-Tropsch reaction in a single-microchannel reactor model using Matlab-ASPEN integration platform. The calculated heat generation curve was implemented to the CFD model. Four design variables based on the microchannel geometry namely coolant channel width, coolant channel height, coolant channel to process channel distance, and coolant channel to coolant channel distance, were selected for calculating three dependent variables namely, heat flux, maximum temperature of coolant channel, and maximum temperature of process channel. The simulation results were visualized to understand the effects of the design variables on the dependent variables. Heat flux and maximum temperature of cooling channel and process channel were found to be increasing when coolant channel width and height were decreased. Coolant channel to process channel distance was found to have no effect on the heat transfer phenomena. Finally, total heat flux was found to be increasing and maximum coolant channel temperature to be decreasing when coolant channel to coolant channel distance was decreased. Using the qualitative trend revealed from the present study, an appropriate process channel and coolant channel geometry along with the distance between the adjacent channels can be recommended for a microchannel reactor that meet a desired reactor performance on heat transfer phenomena and hence reactor conversion of a Fischer-Tropsch microchannel reactor.
- Fischer tropsch