There is great consensus that hydrogen will become an important energy carrier in the future. Currently, hydrogen is mainly produced by steam reforming of natural gas/methane on large industrial scale or by electrolysis of water when high-purity hydrogen is needed for small-scale hydrogen plants. Although the conventional steam reforming process is currently the most economical process for hydrogen production, the global energy and carbon efficiency of this process is still relatively low and an improvement of the process is key for further implementation of hydrogen as a fuel source. Different approaches for more efficient hydrogen production with integrated CO2 capture have been discussed in literature: Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC) or Chemical Looping Reforming (CLR) and membrane reactors have been proposed as more efficient alternative reactor concepts relative to the conventional steam reforming process. However, these systems still present some drawbacks. In the present work a novel hybrid reactor concept that combines the CLR technology with a membrane reactor system is presented, discussed and compared with several other novel technologies. Thermodynamic studies for the new reactor concept, referred to as Membrane-Assisted Chemical Looping Reforming (MA-CLR), have been carried out to determine the hydrogen recovery, methane conversion as well as global efficiency under different operating conditions, which is shown to compare quite favorably to other novel technologies for H2 production with CO2 capture.
- Chemical looping
- CO capture
- Hydrogen production
- Membrane assisted chemical looping reforming
- Membrane reactor