Conventional reactors are large in size and thus have limitations on heat and mass transfer. To overcome these limitations, microreactors have been introduced. This study discusses the development of an integrated reaction and heat exchange approach to microreactor design that enhances reaction yields by allowing the reactant stream to follow optimal reactant temperature profiles. The study details the formulation of two-dimensional model for the integrated reaction and heat exchange reactor design, and applies these models to a parametric study of microreactor designs for the water gas shift (WGS) reaction. The parametric study investigates the sensitivities of design parameters for both the parallel-flow and counter-flow configurations and contributes to establishing general design guidelines for the micro-WGS reactor. The integrated approach achieved significantly higher catalyst utilization when compared to a conventional adiabatic reactor. The study also showed potentials of miniaturizing the reactor by reducing the wall thickness of the reactor without performance loss.

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