Parametric study of sulfuric acid decomposer for hydrogen production

Document Type



It is proposed to use a ceramic high-temperature heat exchanger as a sulfuric acid decomposer for hydrogen production within the sulfur–iodine thermo-chemical cycle portion of the hydrogen production process. 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 decomposition channels of the decomposer are coated by a catalyst to decompose sulfur trioxide into sulfur dioxide and oxygen. The heat exchanger and decomposer are made of silicon carbide (SiC).

A three-dimensional computational model is developed to investigate fluid flow, heat transfer, chemical reaction, and stress analysis within the decomposer. Fluid/thermal/chemical analysis of the decomposer is conducted using FLUENT software. Thermal results of this analysis are exported to ANSYS software to perform a probabilistic failure analysis. Effects of using various channel geometries of the decomposer are investigated.


Ceramics; Chemical decomposition; Decomposition (Chemistry); Heat exchangers; Heat transfer; Heat — Transmission; Silicon carbide; Stress analysis; Weibull probabilistic failure analysis


Ceramic Materials | Chemical Engineering | Chemistry | Computer-Aided Engineering and Design | Inorganic Chemistry | Materials Science and Engineering


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Publisher Citation

Valery Ponyavin, Yitung Chen, Taha Mohamed, Mohamed Trabia, Anthony E. Hechanova, Merrill Wilson, Parametric study of sulfuric acid decomposer for hydrogen production, Progress in Nuclear Energy, Volume 50, Issues 2–6, March–August 2008, Pages 427-433, ISSN 0149-1970, 10.1016/j.pnucene.2007.11.026. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149197007001710)

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