It has been proposed that compact ceramic heat exchangers can be used for high temperature, corrosive applications. This paper discusses the development and optimization of a microchannel heat exchanger for the decomposition of sulfuric acid as part of the hydrogen producing sulfur iodine thermo-chemical cycle. The optimization process combines thermal-hydraulic and structural modeling (UNLV) with empirical performance and validation testing (Ceramatec, Inc.). Within the designs investigated, the micro-channel features were varied to adjust the cross-sectional profiles and the “tortuosity” of the serpentine flow paths to increase the thermal performance while maintaining low pressure drops and thermo-mechanical stresses within system. The results of these coupled optimization efforts and the associated overall performance improvement will be reported.

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