The catalytic dehydrogenation reaction of isobutane to isobutylene is simulated in a commercial-scale heterogenous fixed bed reactor (FBR). The porous medium method in ANSYS Fluent combined with the reaction model capability was utilized to predict the flow behavior and species transport in a bed of spherical particles. Physical and material properties of a dehydrogenating catalyst of Chromium Oxide (Cr2O3) on Aluminum Oxide Support (Al2O3) were employed in the model. Several reaction models were implemented using a customized User-defined Function (UDF) subroutine. Simulation results were validated against literature data for a similar process. Good agreement was observed for the conversion of alkanes to alkenes within acceptable accuracy. It is concluded that the power-law model showed the least fit for the feed conversion and product selectivity compared to the other studied reaction models.

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