A catalytic reactor is provided with one or more reaction zones each formed of set(s) of reaction tubes containing a catalyst to promote chemical reaction within a feed stream. The reaction tubes are of helical configuration and are arranged in a substantially coaxial relationship to form a coil-like structure. Heat exchangers and steam generators can be formed by similar tube arrangements. In such manner, the reaction zone(s) and hence, the reactor is compact and the pressure drop through components is minimized. The resultant compact form has improved heat transfer characteristics and is far easier to thermally insulate than prior art compact reactor designs. Various chemical reactions are contemplated within such coil-like structures such that as steam methane reforming followed by water-gas shift. The coil-like structures can be housed within annular chambers of a cylindrical housing that also provide flow paths for various heat exchange fluids to heat and cool components.
U.S. GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
This invention was made with United States Government support under Cooperative Agreement number DE-FC36-01GO11004 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in this invention.