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Simulation and optimization of steam-cracking processes

Campet, Robin. Simulation and optimization of steam-cracking processes. PhD, Mecanique des fluides, energetique, thermique, combustion, acoustique, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2019

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Thermal cracking is an industrial process sensitive to both temperature and pressure operating conditions. The use of internally ribbed reactors is a passive method to enhance the chemical selectivity of the process, thanks to a significant increase of heat transfer. However, this method also induces an increase in pressure loss, which is damageable to the chemical yield and must be quantified. Because of the complexity of turbulence and chemical kinetics, and as detailed experimental measurements are difficult to conduct, the real advantage of such geometries in terms of selectivity is however poorly known and difficult to assess. This work aims both at evaluating the real benefits of internally ribbed reactors in terms of chemical yields and at proposing innovative and optimized reactor designs. This is made possible using the Large Eddy Simulation (LES) approach, which allows to study in detail the reactive flow inside several reactor geometries. The AVBP code, which solves the Navier-Stokes compressible equations for turbulent flows, is used in order to simulate thermal cracking thanks to a dedicated numerical methodology. In particular, the effect of pressure loss and heat transfer on chemical conversion is compared for both a smooth and a ribbed reactor in order to conclude about the impact of wall roughness in industrial operating conditions. An optimization methodology, based on series of LES and Gaussian process, is finally developed and an innovative reactor design for thermal cracking applications, which maximizes the chemical yield, is proposed

Item Type:PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Research Director:
Cuenot, Bénédicte and Riber, Eleonore
Deposited On:27 Aug 2019 13:10

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