Catalytic oxidation of natural gas over supported platinum: Flow reactor experiments and detailed numberical modeling

Tami G. Bond*, Byan A. Noguchi, Chen Pang Chou, Rajiv K. Mongia, Jyh Yuan Chen, Robert W. Dibble

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Noble metal (platinum or palladiuni) combustion catalysts have demonstrated low NO2 (nitrogen oxides, consisting of both NO and NO2) emissions in natural-gas-fired turbines. The catalyst permits low temperature combustion below the traditional lean limit. Due to the combined proceses of diffusion and (unknown) surface reaction, the catalyst is typically modeled as a "black box," often described by a global reaction rate expression. While this approach has been useful for proof-of-concept studies, we expect practical applications to emerge from a greater understanding of the details of the catalytic combustion process. We have constructed a detailed numerical model of the catalytic combustion process based on the wellaccepted CHEMKIN chemical kinetics formalism for detailed gas-phase and surface chemistry. Results from an experimental combustor support the model development. We present measured and modeled axial profiles of fuel conversion for natural-gas combustion over platinum catalysts supported on ceramic honeycomb monoliths, NO emissions are below 1 ppm, and CO is observed at ppm levels. The data are taken at several lean equivalence ratios and flow rates, at atmospheric pressure. Fuedl conveersion rates occur in tworegines: a low, constant conversion rate and a higher conversion rate that inereases linearly with equivalence ratio. Both conversion rates are consistent with kinetically limited processes. The jump from kinetic to mass-diffusion limitation, predicted by most accepted theories of catalytic combustion, is not observed. The agreement of the numerical model with the measured data is good at temperatures below 900 K: above this temperature. the predicted fuel conversion is as much as a factor of 2 lower than the measurements. Carbon monoxide is overpredicted by 2-3 ppm for <0.34. and by less than a factor of 2 for >0.34. Results from the numerical model indicate that fuel conversion rate has a linear dependence on the fraction of available surface reaction sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1771-1778
Number of pages8
JournalSymposium (International) on Combustion
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Department of Energy under the Advanced Turbine Systems Program, and by the National Science Foundation. Catalysts were provided gratis by Dr. R. Dalla Betta from Catalytica, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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