I'm interested in controlled oxidation of nickel in a methane reformer with diameter ~3 m and height ~1.5 m. In this reactor, CH4 is converted into H2 and CO, and CO into H2 and CO2 but for this problem, we assume that the methane and water stopped flowing in the reactor and that all these substances are not present in it during the oxidation process. So the idea for the nickel oxidation is to let some air flow in the reactor by controlling the following three parameters:

  • The percentage of oxygen in the air I let flow in the reactor.
  • Its flow rate.
  • The temperature of the air injected

What are the realistic values that these three parameters can take? I've searched the internet but I could not find any information about how the air generation step (that's how it's called) works and what exactly is producing the air flow (turbine?).

  • $\begingroup$ My understanding is that in ATR, nickel is used as a catalyst for partial oxidation of hydrocarbons into syngas. Please edit the question to clarify what process you're describing, exactly. The appropriate O2 content can depend on, for example, what fuel you're converting. $\endgroup$
    – Air
    Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry I was unclear : I actually am referring to the methane reformer unit of the ATR.I edited my post :) $\endgroup$
    – Corvinus
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 8:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I've been reading up on this process but I'm still not clear about what exactly you're trying to determine. When you talk about "the nickel oxidation" are you referring to catalyst wear, or nickel-catalyzed oxidation of methane? I also don't understand what "all these substances are not present" is intended to mean. Are you simply designing a typical process, or are you trying to study catalyst performance specifically, or something else? $\endgroup$
    – Air
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


When your doing a problem like this you start by looking at the reaction that you want to happen. I'm sure you will find lots of information on the oxidation of nickle.

  1. Find a temperature at which the reaction occurs (kinetics).
  2. Find out how much catalyst or nickle is in the reactor.
  3. Calculate the oxygen needed trough basic stoichiometry.
  4. The percentage of oxygen in the feed is up to you. The amount will affect the efficiency. There should be literature on it.

Hope this helps or points you in the right direction.


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