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Proceedings of the 27th National and 5th International ISHMT-ASTFE Heat and Mass Transfer Conference December 14-17, 2023, IIT Patna, Patna-801106, Bihar, India
December, 14-17, 2023, Bihar, India

OpenFOAM simulation and development of a prototype Swiss-Roll Combustor for Methane Reforming

Get access (open in a dialog) DOI: 10.1615/IHMTC-2023.1160
pages 717-722


A Swiss-roll configuration, non-catalytic, thermal partial oxidation (TPOX) fuel reformer is developed to produce hydrogen-rich syngas from methane. The combustor uses effective heat recirculation to partially oxidise fuel. The spiral counter flow heat exchanger configuration helps to achieve super adiabatic temperatures inside the combustor. Maintaining a stable reaction at the center is crucial for the reformer to operate effectively. In this work simulations are performed in OpenFOAM on a 3-turn, 5 mm wide Swiss-Roll Combustor (SRC) simplified model, considering only the flow channel. The effect of flow velocity and equivalence ratio on temperature and location of peak flame temperature is studied by considering various reaction mechanisms. A 3D model with conjugate heat transfer is developed with an effective reaction mechanism from the simplified model. Progress on the design, fabrication, and testing of a prototype reformer roughly 10 cm tall and 10 cm wide is also discussed. Simulations indicate that reduced GRI (Gas Research Institute) and GRI 3.0 mechanisms give good predictions of the flame temperature and location, with less computational time for the reduced GRI mechanism. The experiments show stable fuel-rich combustion and possible hydrogen production.