Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

steam methane reforming Related Abstracts

2 Viability Analysis of a Centralized Hydrogen Generation Plant for Use in Oil Refining Industry

Authors: C. Fúnez Guerra, B. Nieto Calderón, M. Jaén Caparrós, L. Reyes-Bozo, A. Godoy-Faúndez, E. Vyhmeister

Abstract:

The global energy system is experiencing a change of scenery. Unstable energy markets, an increasing focus on climate change and its sustainable development is forcing businesses to pursue new solutions in order to ensure future economic growth. This has led to the interest in using hydrogen as an energy carrier in transportation and industrial applications. As an energy carrier, hydrogen is accessible and holds a high gravimetric energy density. Abundant in hydrocarbons, hydrogen can play an important role in the shift towards low-emission fossil value chains. By combining hydrogen production by natural gas reforming with carbon capture and storage, the overall CO2 emissions are significantly reduced. In addition, the flexibility of hydrogen as an energy storage makes it applicable as a stabilizer in the renewable energy mix. The recent development in hydrogen fuel cells is also raising the expectations for a hydrogen powered transportation sector. Hydrogen value chains exist to a large extent in the industry today. The global hydrogen consumption was approximately 50 million tonnes (7.2 EJ) in 2013, where refineries, ammonia, methanol production and metal processing were main consumers. Natural gas reforming produced 48% of this hydrogen, but without carbon capture and storage (CCS). The total emissions from the production reached 500 million tonnes of CO2, hence alternative production methods with lower emissions will be necessary in future value chains. Hydrogen from electrolysis is used for a wide range of industrial chemical reactions for many years. Possibly, the earliest use was for the production of ammonia-based fertilisers by Norsk Hydro, with a test reactor set up in Notodden, Norway, in 1927. This application also claims one of the world’s largest electrolyser installations, at Sable Chemicals in Zimbabwe. Its array of 28 electrolysers consumes 80 MW per hour, producing around 21,000 Nm3/h of hydrogen. These electrolysers can compete if cheap sources of electricity are available and natural gas for steam reforming is relatively expensive. Because electrolysis of water produces oxygen as a by-product, a system of Autothermal Reforming (ATR) utilizing this oxygen has been analyzed. Replacing the air separation unit with electrolysers produces the required amount of oxygen to the ATR as well as additional hydrogen. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the technical and economic potential of large-scale production of hydrogen for oil refining industry. Sensitivity analysis of parameters such as investment costs, plant operating hours, electricity price and sale price of hydrogen and oxygen are performed.

Keywords: Natural Gas, Hydrogen, autothermal reforming, electrolyser, steam methane reforming

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1 Optimizing Hydrogen Production from Biomass Pyro-Gasification in a Multi-Staged Fluidized Bed Reactor

Authors: Chetna Mohabeer, Luis Reyes, Lokmane Abdelouahed, Bechara Taouk

Abstract:

In the transition to sustainability and the increasing use of renewable energy, hydrogen will play a key role as an energy carrier. Biomass has the potential to accelerate the realization of hydrogen as a major fuel of the future. Pyro-gasification allows the conversion of organic matter mainly into synthesis gas, or “syngas”, majorly constituted by CO, H2, CH4, and CO2. A second, condensable fraction of biomass pyro-gasification products are “tars”. Under certain conditions, tars may decompose into hydrogen and other light hydrocarbons. These conditions include two types of cracking: homogeneous cracking, where tars decompose under the effect of temperature ( > 1000 °C), and heterogeneous cracking, where catalysts such as olivine, dolomite or biochar are used. The latter process favors cracking of tars at temperatures close to pyro-gasification temperatures (~ 850 °C). Pyro-gasification of biomass coupled with water-gas shift is the most widely practiced process route for biomass to hydrogen today. In this work, an innovating solution will be proposed for this conversion route, in that all the pyro-gasification products, not only methane, will undergo processes that aim to optimize hydrogen production. First, a heterogeneous cracking step was included in the reaction scheme, using biochar (remaining solid from the pyro-gasification reaction) as catalyst and CO2 and H2O as gasifying agents. This process was followed by a catalytic steam methane reforming (SMR) step. For this, a Ni-based catalyst was tested under different reaction conditions to optimize H2 yield. Finally, a water-gas shift (WGS) reaction step with a Fe-based catalyst was added to optimize the H2 yield from CO. The reactor used for cracking was a fluidized bed reactor, and the one used for SMR and WGS was a fixed bed reactor. The gaseous products were analyzed continuously using a µ-GC (Fusion PN 074-594-P1F). With biochar as bed material, it was seen that more H2 was obtained with steam as a gasifying agent (32 mol. % vs. 15 mol. % with CO2 at 900 °C). CO and CH4 productions were also higher with steam than with CO2. Steam as gasifying agent and biochar as bed material were hence deemed efficient parameters for the first step. Among all parameters tested, CH4 conversions approaching 100 % were obtained from SMR reactions using Ni/γ-Al2O3 as a catalyst, 800 °C, and a steam/methane ratio of 5. This gave rise to about 45 mol % H2. Experiments about WGS reaction are currently being conducted. At the end of this phase, the four reactions are performed consecutively, and the results analyzed. The final aim is the development of a global kinetic model of the whole system in a multi-stage fluidized bed reactor that can be transferred on ASPEN PlusTM.

Keywords: steam methane reforming, multi-staged fluidized bed reactor, pyro-gasification, water-gas shift

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