Optimal design and observation of counter-current autothermal reactors for the production of hydrogen

Michael Baldea, Monica Zanfir, Prodromos Daoutidis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Autothermal reactors, coupling endothermic and exothermic reactions in parallel channels, represent one of the most promising technologies for hydrogen production. Building our our prior results, the present work focuses on hydrogen generation in counter-current autothermal reactors. Using a first-principles model, we demonstrate that simply reversing the flow in a reactor designed for co-current operation leads to the formation of hot spots and a decrease in thermal efficiency. Thus, we propose a redesign strategy based on establishing the optimal length of the catalytic surface for both the reforming and the combustion channels, with the objective of minimizing the difference between the channel temperatures. We demonstrate that the redesigned reactor exhibits superior steady state performance and improved dynamic operability. Finally, in view of facilitating model-based controller design, we introduce a reduced-order model based observer for the counter-current autothermal reactor and validate its operation via a simulation study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2009 American Control Conference, ACC 2009
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Nov 23 2009
Event2009 American Control Conference, ACC 2009 - St. Louis, MO, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2009Jun 12 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Other2009 American Control Conference, ACC 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySt. Louis, MO


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