Mojtaba Mirdrikvand, Mehrdad Sadeghi, M. Nurul Karima, Jörg Thöming, Wolfgang Dreher
Chemical Engineering Journal (2020) 388 124234
A micro-scale analysis of mass transport in ceramic foams that are used as catalyst supports in gas phase reactions is of high interest. Although the effects of flow rate and foam parameters on the radial and axial dispersion are known for liquid flows, no pore-scale experimental analysis has been yet reported to correlate the mechanical and diffusional dispersion of gas flows to the geometry of open-cell foams. Here, a spatially resolved Pulsed Field Gradient NMR method is applied to determine dispersion coefficients of thermally polarized gas along axial and transversal directions of open-cell foams. The comparative study of three commercial foam samples with different morphologies shows the effect of open porosity, window size, and flow rate on gas dispersion. Additionally, the influence of mechanical and diffusional dispersion at each flow rate is investigated for individual samples. By observing the transition from diffusional dispersion to mechanically driven dispersion of gas, it is found that diffusional dispersion plays an important role, even at higher flow rates after a transition from Darcy to Darcy-Forchheimer regime occurs. The measured values for dispersion coefficients of methane can be directly used in pseudo-heterogeneous models for the methanation reaction.