Geometric parameters effect on the reaction zone of premixed CH4 catalytic combustion in a fibrous porous medium

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Mechanical Engineering Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST)


Flameless catalytic heaters are thermal systems in which the chemical energy of gaseous fuel converts into heat with zero NOx and low CO (≤ 10 ppm) emissions. Hence, they are called green heaters in the industry. These heaters benefit from a fibrous porous medium as support for catalyst nanoparticles. Pore structure has a significant effect on transport phenomena inside the porous medium. With the dramatic growth of computers, it is possible to study the impact of geometric detail on combustion phenomena. This study investigates the effect of fiber orientation and diameter on the temperature distribution and the reaction zone of CH4 catalytic combustion in the fibrous medium. As the fiber axis angle increases from 10° to 90°, the reaction zone moves 24.1% toward the reactor inlet, the maximum temperature increases by 69.7 °C, and its distribution becomes more non-uniform. Moreover, as the diameter of the fibers increased from 5 µm to 10 µm, the reaction site moved 29.8% toward the end of the reactor, the maximum temperature increased by 34.9 °C, and its distribution became slightly more uneven. The results showed how the diameter and orientation of fibers influence the performance of porous catalytic reactors. This issue should be considered, especially to increase the life of catalytic burners.

Graphical Abstract

Geometric parameters effect on the reaction zone of premixed CH4 catalytic combustion in a fibrous porous medium


  • Experimental and numerical study of catalytic combustion in fibrous porous media.
  • Study of reaction zone inside complex fibrous porous media based on pore-scale simulation.
  • Effect of geometric parameters (fibers orientation, and fibers diameter) on the reaction zone.
  • Temperature distribution in a centerline of a catalytic combustion reactor.


[1] Jodeiri, N., Wu, L., Mmbaga, J., Hayes, R. E., & Wanke, S. E. (2010). Catalytic combustion of VOC in a counter-diffusive reactor. Catal. Today, 155(1-2) 147-153.
[2] Jodeiri, N., Mmbaga, J. P., Wu, L., Wanke, S. E., & Hayes, R. E. (2012). Modeling a counter-diffusive reactor for methane combustion. Comput. Chem. Eng. 39, 47-56.
[3] He, L., Fan, Y., Bellettre, J., Yue, J., & Luo, L. (2020). A review on catalytic methane combustion at low temperatures: Catalysts, mechanisms, reaction conditions and reactor designs. Renew. Sust. Energ. Rev. 119, 109589.
[4] Akolkar, A., Rahmatian, N., Unterberger, S. H., Petrasch, J. (2017). Tomography based analysis of conduction anisotropy in fibrous insulation. Int. J. Heat Mass Tran. 108(B) 1740-1749.
[5] Tomadakis, M. M. & Robertson, T. J. (2005). Viscous permeability of random fiber structures: comparison of electrical and diffusional estimates with experimental and analytical results. J. Compos. Mater. 39(2) 39-163.
[6] Xu, P., Qiu, S., Cai, J., Li, C., & Liu, H. (2017). A novel analytical solution for gas diffusion in multi-scale fuel cell porous media. J. Power Sources, 362, 73-79.
[7] Maze, B., Tafreshi, H. V., Wang, Q., & Pourdeyhimi, B. (2007). A simulation of unsteady-state filtration via nanofiber media at reduced operating pressures. J. Aerosol Sci. 38(5) 550-571.
[8] de Vries, E. T., Raoof, A., & van Genuchten, M. T. (2017). Multi-scale modeling of dual-porosity porous media; a computational pore-scale study for flow and solute transport. Adv. Water Resour. 105, 82-95.
[9] Li, Z., Zhang, X., & Liu, Y. (2017). Pore-scale simulation of gas diffusion in unsaturated soil aggregates: Accuracy of the dusty-gas model and the impact of saturation. Geoderma, 303, 196-203.
[10] Di Palma, P. R., Parmigiani, A., Huber, C., Guyennon, N., & Viotti, P. (2017). Pore-scale simulations of concentration tails in heterogeneous porous media. J. Contam. Hydrol. 205, 47-56.
[11] Zhang, R., Min, T., Chen, L., Kang, Q., He, Y. L., & Tao, W. -Q. (2019). Pore-scale and multi-scale study of effects of Pt degradation on reactive transport processes in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Appl. Energ. 253, 113590.
[12] Wang, H., Chen, L., Qu, Z., Yin, Y., Kang, Q., Yu, B., & Tao W. -Q. (2020). Modeling of multi-scale transport phenomena in shale gas production - A critical review. Appl. Energ. 262, 114575.
[13] Banerjee, B., & Paul, D. (2021). Developments and applications of porous medium combustion: A recent review. Energy, 221, 119868.  
[14] Ghareghani, A., Ghasemi, K., Siavashi, M., & Mehranfar, S. (2021). Applications of porous materials in combustion systems: A comprehensive and state-of-the-art review. Fuel, 304, 121411.
[15] Yan, Y., Zhang, C., Wu, G., Feng, S., & Yang, Z., (2022). Numerical study on methane/air combustion characteristics in a heat-recirculating micro combustor embedded with porous media. Int. J. Hydrogen Energ. 47(48) 20999-21012.
[16] Wu, Y., Peng, Q., Yang, M., Shan, J., & Yang, W. (2021). Entropy generation analysis of premixed hydrogen-air combustion in a micro combustor with porous medium. Chem. Eng.  Process. 168, 108566.
[17] Liu, W., Wen, J., Gong, J., Liu, G., Zhong, C., & Pan, J. (2021). Parametric study of methane catalytic combustion in a micro-channel reactor: Effects of porous washcoat properties. Fuel, 290, 120099.
[18] Hosseinalipour, S.M., Namazi, M., Modarresi, A., & Ghasemi Marzbali, I. (2018). Numerical study and experimental measurement of permeability coefficient in fibrous porous media, considering geometric details for investigating the effect of geometric parameters. Iran. J. Mech. Eng. (ISME), 20(2) 170-189.
[19] Hosseinalipour, S.M., Namazi, M., Modarresi, A., & Ghasemi Marzbali, I. (2017). An algorithm for geometry generation of fibrous porous media with specified properties. National Conference on Advances in Materials, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (AMMAE), Tehran, Iran.
[20] Namazi, M., Nayebi, M., Isazadeh, A., Modarresi, A., Marzbali, I. G., & Hosseinalipour, S. M. (2022). Experimental and numerical study of catalytic combustion and pore-scale numerical study of mass diffusion in high porosity fibrous porous media. Energy, 238, 121831.
[21] Hosseinalipour, S. M., & Namazi, M. (2022). Study of geometrical characteristics effects on radiation properties in high porosity fibrous porous media using the pore-scale simulation and two-flux model. Therm. Sci. 24(2B) 1299-1310.
[22] Hosseinalipour, S. M., & Namazi, M. (2019). Pore-scale numerical study of flow and conduction heat transfer in fibrous porous media. J. Mech. Sci. Technol. 33(5) 2307-2317.
[23] Hosseinalipour, S. M., Namazi, M., Ghasemi Marzbali, I.  & Modarresi, A. (2017). Heat transfer simulation in a micro-scale porous medium with consideration of geometric details. National Conference on Advances in Materials, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (AMMAE), Tehran, Iran.
[24] Song, X., Williams, W. R., Schmidt, L. D., & Aris, R. (1991). Bifurcation behavior in homogeneous-heterogeneous combustion: II. Computations for stagnation-point flow. Combust. Flame 84(3-4) 292-311.
[25] ANSYS Inc., "ANSYS Fluent Theory Guide", release 17.1, Ansys Canonsburg, PA, 2017.
Volume 8, Issue 1
May 2022
Pages 1-7
  • Receive Date: 20 June 2022
  • Revise Date: 03 August 2022
  • Accept Date: 30 August 2022
  • First Publish Date: 30 August 2022