Kee200x200Process intensification in the catalytic conversion of natural gas to fuels and chemicals

This paper explores alternative technologies for the conversion of natural gas to higher-value products.  Because of methane’s chemical stability, all practical processes require elevated temperature (e.g., T>700 ˚C) and catalysts to activate the methane.   Some approaches are mature and widely practiced at the commercial scale (e.g., steam reforming and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis).  Others are emerging, based on laboratory-scale experimentation (e.g., oxidative coupling of methane).  In all cases, the present paper is concerned with aspects of process intensification, seeking chemical methods and reactor implementations that can improve overall performance.  Performance metrics include reactor size, energy efficiency, conversion rates, and product selectivity.  Process intensification approaches include integrated microchannel reactors and heat exchangers as well as a range of permselective membranes.

Short Biography:
Professor Kee holds the George R. Brown Distinguished chair. Dr. Kee’s research interests are primarily in modeling and simulation of chemically reacting fluid flow. Applications are generally in the area of clean energy, including fuel cells, photovoltaics, and advanced combustion.

Dr. Kee’s sponsored-research efforts are primarily in the modeling and simulation of thermal and chemically reacting flow processes, with applications to combustion, electrochemistry, and materials manufacturing.

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