Design of a Compact Ceramic High-Temperature Heat Exchanger and Chemical Decomposer for Hydrogen Production

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This article describes a compact silicon carbide ceramic, high-temperature heat exchanger for hydrogen production in the sulfur iodine thermochemical cycle, and in particular, to be used as the sulfuric acid decomposer. In this cycle, hot helium from a nuclear reactor is used to heat the SI (sulfuric acid) feed components (H2O, H2SO4, SO3) to obtain appropriate conditions for the SI decomposition reaction. The inner walls of the SI decomposer channels are coated with platinum to catalytically decompose sulfur trioxide into sulfur dioxide and oxygen. Hydrodynamic, thermal, and the sulfur trioxide decomposition reaction were coupled for numerical modeling. Thermal results of this analysis are exported to perform a probabilistic mechanical failure analysis. This article presents the approach used in modeling the chemical decomposition of sulfur trioxide. Stress analysis of the design is also presented. The second part of the article shows the results of parametric study of the baseline design (linear channels). Several alternate designs of the chemical decomposer channels are also explored. The current study summarizes the results of the parametric calculations whose objective is to maximize the sulfur trioxide decomposition by using various channel geometries within the decomposer. Based on these results, a discussion of the possibilities for improving the productivity of the design is also given.


Ceramics; Heat exchangers – Design and construction; Hydrogen as fuel; Silicon carbide; Sulfuric acid


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Publisher Citation

Design of a Compact Ceramic High-Temperature Heat Exchanger and Chemical Decomposer for Hydrogen Production Valery Ponyavin, Yitung Chen, Taha Mohamed, Mohamed Trabia, Anthony E. Hechanova, Merrill Wilson Heat Transfer Engineering Vol. 33, Iss. 10, 2012

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