In modeling catalytic combustion in a monolithic catalytic converter, it is generally assumed that the gas within the individual monolith channels does not interfere with thermal radiation. To date, no quantitative study has been undertaken to validate this assumption. Past studies for carbon monoxide combustion also appear to indicate that the emissivity of the washcoat has little effect on the thermal radiation field. In order to investigate these two issues, methane-air combustion on platinum is modeled inside a single channel of a monolith using a detailed surface reaction mechanism comprised of 24 reactions between 19 species. Radiation transport is modeled using the Discrete Ordinates Method and a gray formulation. Planck-mean absorption coefficients of the gases, calculated from the HITEMP and HITRAN databases, are used to investigate participating medium effects. All calculations were performed using the commercial CFD code, CFD-ACE+™, supplemented by user-subroutines for calculating the absorption coefficient of the gas mixture. Results show that the conversion percentages and temperature distributions are unaltered by the inclusion of participating medium radiation effects, verifying the commonly held belief, stated earlier. However, in strong contrast with carbon monoxide combustion, the emissivity of the washcoat was found to significantly affect flammability limits in the case of methane combustion—the flame being hotter and more stable for smaller values of emissivity.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.