Characteristic Studies of Micron Zinc Particle Hydrolysis in a Fixed Bed Reactor

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Zinc fuel is considered as a kind of promising energy sources for marine propeller. As one of the key steps for zinc marine energy power system, zinc hydrolysis process had been studied experimentally in a fixed bed reactor. In this study, we focus on the characteristics of micron zinc particle hydrolysis. The experimental results suggested that the steam inner diffusion is the controlling step of accumulative zinc particles hydrolysis reaction at a relative lower temperature and a relative higher water partial pressure. In other conditions, the chemical reaction kinetics was the controlling step. And two kinds of chemical reaction kinetics appeared in experiments: the surface reaction and the gas-gas reaction. The latter one occurs usually for larger zinc particles and high reaction temperature. Temperature seems to be one of the most important parameters for the dividing of different reaction mechanisms. Several parameters of the hydrolysis process including heating rate, water partial pressure, the particle size and temperature were also studied in this paper. Results show that the initial reaction temperature of zinc hydrolysis in fixed bed is about 410°C. And the initial reaction temperature increases as the heating rate increases and as the water partial pressure decreases. The total hydrogen yield increases as the heating rate decreases, as the water partial pressure increases, as the zinc particle size decreases, and as the reaction temperature increases. A hydrogen yield of more than 81.5% was obtained in the fixed bed experiments.

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