Catalytic Reactor Simulation by Eulerian Multiphase Flow, ANSYS Fluent

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The present problem simulates the flow inside a catalytic reactor using ANSYS Fluent software.

This product includes a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie.

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Project Description

The present problem simulates the flow inside a catalytic reactor using ANSYS Fluent software. In the internal structure of this reactor, compressed air is mixed with the fuel spray into the reactor and the catalyst material to cause the reaction to take place. Therefore, in simulating this model, eulerian multiphase flow is used. This multiphase model can solve momentum and conservation equations for each of the phases separately. For this multiphase flow, three materials are defined; So that air with a density of 1.225 kg.m-3 is introduced as the primary phase along with fuel with a density of 10 kg.m-3 and catalytic material with a density of 700 kg.m-3 is introduced as secondary phases.

Air flow enters the reactor from the special air inlet in the lower part of the reactor with a mass flow of 4.095 kg.s-1 and catalytic flow with a mass flow of 409.49 kg.s-1 enters from the middle pipe of the reactor. Fuel enters through four reactor injectors with a flow rate of 81,898 kg.s-1 through the middle of the reactor.

Catalytic Reactor Geometry & Mesh

The present model is designed in three dimensions using Design Modeler software. The present model is a cylindrical reactor designed vertically. The middle part of the model has four inlets for fuel injection and one inlet for the catalytic material. We carry out the meshing of the model using ANSYS Meshing software, and the mesh type is unstructured. The element number is 430586. The following figure shows the geometry and mesh.

catalytic reactor

Catalytic Reactor CFD Simulation

We consider several assumptions to simulate the present model:

  • We perform a pressure-based solver.
  • The simulation is steady.
  • The gravity effect on the fluid is equal to -9.81 m.s-2 along the Y-axis.

The following table represents a summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution:

Models (Catalytic Reactor)
Viscous k-epsilon
k-epsilon model standard
near wall treatment standard wall functions
Multiphase Model Eulerian
formulation implicit
number of eulerian phases 3 (steam-fuel-catalyst)
Boundary conditions (Catalytic Reactor)
Steam Inlet Mass Flow Inlet
mass flow rate – steam 4.095 kg.s-1
Fuel Inlet (1-2-3-4) Mass Flow Inlet
mass flow rate – fuel 81.898 kg.s-1
Catalyst Mass Flow Inlet
mass flow rate – catalyst 409.49 kg.s-1
Outlet Pressure Outlet
gauge pressure 0 pascal
Walls Wall
wall motion stationary wall
Methods (Catalytic Reactor)
Pressure-Velocity Coupling Phase Coupled SIMPLE
Pressure PRESTO
momentum first order upwind
turbulent kinetic energy first order upwind
turbulent dissipation rate first order upwind
volume fraction first order upwind
Initialization (Catalytic Reactor)
Initialization methods Hybrid

Results & Discussion

At the end of the solution process, two-dimensional and three-dimensional contours related to pressure, velocity of each model phase (air, fuel and catalytic material), and volume fraction of each model phase (air, fuel and catalytic material) are obtained. As can be seen from the pictures, airflow enters from the bottom of the reactor and mixes with the fuel flows and the flow of catalytic material entering from the middle of the reactor.

There are a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie that presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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