Method for Dual-fuel Operation of a Fuel-Rich Catalytic Reactor - U.S. Patent 0072708

Lance L. Smith
Shahrokh Etemad, Fairfield University
Marco J. Castaldi
Hasan UI Karim
William C. Pfefferle

U.S. Patent 0072708 A1, issued 2003.


The present invention is a method for operating a fuel-rich catalytic reactor in a catalytic combustion system, wherein two different fuels having dissimilar reactivity are consecutively used. In this method, a fuel-rich fuel/air mixture comprising a first fuel contacts a catalyst to create a product stream and a heat of reaction. The reactor is operated such that mass transfer of oxygen to the catalyst surface limits the rate of catalytic reaction. The catalyst is backside cooled by a cooling stream comprising air that extracts at least a portion of the heat of reaction before contacting the product stream. The cooling stream flow is sufficient to completely combust all of the remaining fuel. A second fuel is then substituted for the first fuel, and the steps are repeated.