Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30135
Heat Transfer Analysis of a Multiphase Oxygen Reactor Heated by a Helical Tube in the Cu-Cl Cycle of a Hydrogen Production

Authors: Mohammed W. Abdulrahman


In the thermochemical water splitting process by Cu-Cl cycle, oxygen gas is produced by an endothermic thermolysis process at a temperature of 530oC. Oxygen production reactor is a three-phase reactor involving cuprous chloride molten salt, copper oxychloride solid reactant and oxygen gas. To perform optimal performance, the oxygen reactor requires accurate control of heat transfer to the molten salt and decomposing solid particles within the thermolysis reactor. In this paper, the scale up analysis of the oxygen reactor that is heated by an internal helical tube is performed from the perspective of heat transfer. A heat balance of the oxygen reactor is investigated to analyze the size of the reactor that provides the required heat input for different rates of hydrogen production. It is found that the helical tube wall and the service side constitute the largest thermal resistances of the oxygen reactor system. In the analysis of this paper, the Cu-Cl cycle is assumed to be heated by two types of nuclear reactor, which are HTGR and CANDU SCWR. It is concluded that using CANDU SCWR requires more heat transfer rate by 3-4 times than that when using HTGR. The effect of the reactor aspect ratio is also studied and it is found that increasing the aspect ratio decreases the number of reactors and the rate of decrease in the number of reactors decreases by increasing the aspect ratio. Comparisons between the results of this study and pervious results of material balances in the oxygen reactor show that the size of the oxygen reactor is dominated by the heat balance rather than the material balance.

Keywords: Heat transfer, Cu-Cl cycle, hydrogen production, oxygen, clean energy.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 810


[1] M. A. Lewis, M. Serban, and J. K. Basco, “Generating hydrogen using a low temperature thermochemical cycle,” in Proc. of the ANS/ENS Global International conference on Nuclear Technology, New Orleans, 2003.
[2] M. Serban, M. A. Lewis, and J. K. Basco, “Kinetic study of the hydrogen and oxygen production reactions in the copper-chloride thermochemical cycle,” American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal, Spring National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, pp. 2690-2698. 2004.
[3] G. D. Marin, “Kinetics and transport phenomena in the chemical decomposition of copper oxychloride in the thermochemical Cu-Cl cycle (Doctoral dissertation),” University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Ontario, Canada. 2012.
[4] M. W. Abdulrahman, “Similitude for thermal scale-up of a multiphase thermolysis reactor in the Cu-Cl cycle of a hydrogen production,” World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology. International Journal of Electrical, Computer, Energetic, Electronic and Communication Engineering, vol. 10, no. 5, pp. 567-573, 2016.
[5] B. M. Ikeda, and M. H. Kaye, “Thermodynamic properties in the Cu-Cl- O-H system. In Proc. 7th International Conference on Nuclear and Radiochemistry, Budapest, Hungary, 2008.
[6] L. Trevani, “The copper-chloride cycle: synthesis and characterization of copper oxychloride,” in Proc. Hydrogen and Fuel Cells International Conference and Exhibition, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2011.
[7] M. F. Orhan, “Analysis, design and optimization of nuclear- based hydrogen production with copper-chlorine thermochemical cycles,” PhD Dissertation, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Ontario, April, 2011.
[8] M. W. Abdulrahman, Z. Wang, and G. F. Naterer, “Scale-up analysis of three-phase oxygen reactor in the Cu-Cl thermochemical cycle of hydrogen production,” EIC Climate Change Technology Conference (CCTC2013), Montreal, QC, Canada, 2013.
[9] S. S. Pawar, V. K. Sunnapwar, and B. A. Mujawar, “Acritical review of heat transfer through helical coils of circular cross section,” Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research, vol. 70, pp. 835-843, 2011.
[10] J. R. Couper, P. W. Roy, J. R. Fair, and S. M. Walas, Chemical process equipment selection and design, 2nd ed. Gulf Professional Publishing Elsevier Inc., 2005.
[11] W. Dimoplon, “Finding the length of helical coils,” Chem. Eng., p. 177, 1978.
[12] E. N. Sieder, G. E. Tate, “Heat transfer and pressure drop of liquids in tubes”, Ind. Eng. Chem., vol. 28, pp. 1429-1436, 1936.
[13] G. F. Hewitt, G. L. Shires, and T. R. Bott, Process Heat Transfer. CRC Press, 1994, Ch. 31.
[14] T. H. Chilton, T. B. Drew, and R. H. Jebens, “Heat transfer coefficients in agitated vessels,” Ind. Eng. Chem., Vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 510-516, 1944.
[15] A. Einstein, “A new determination of molecular dimensions (Eine neue Bestimmung der Moleküldimensionen),” Annalen der Physik, vol. 19, pp. 289-306, 1906.
[16] E. Guth, and H. Simba, “Viscosity of suspensions and solutions: III Viscosity of sphere suspensions,” Kolloid-Z, vol. 74, pp. 266-275, 1936.
[17] M. A. Lewis, J. G. Masin, and R. B. Vilim, “Development of the low temperature Cu-Cl cycle,” in Proc. International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants, ICAPP ’05, Seoul, Korea, vol. 4, pp. 2222-2232, 2005.
[18] T. I. Parry, “Thermodynamics and magnetism of Cu2OCl2 II repairs to micro calorimeter,” Master Thesis, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University, 2008.
[19] E. J. Rozic, “Elevated temperature properties as influenced by nitrogen additions to types 304 and 316 austenitic stainless steels,” ASTM International, Steel, Stainless, 1973.
[20] P. A. Schweitzer, Encyclopedia of corrosion technology, 2nd ed. New York, Marcel Dekker, Inc., 2004.
[21] K. Coker, Ludwig's applied process design for chemical and petrochemical plants, 4th ed. Gulf Professional Publishing, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA, 2007.