Keywords: hydrogen production, methane decomposition, catalyst regeneration, carbon oxidation, fluidised bed reactors, fixed bed reactors, thermo-catalytic decomposition
Hydrogen production by catalytic methane decomposition and catalyst regeneration by oxygen mixtures in fluidised and fixed bed reactors
In the present paper, the Thermo-Catalytic Decomposition (TCD) of methane has been investigated in a laboratory-scale bubbling fluidised bed reactor using copper dispersed on γ-alumina as a catalyst. The usefulness of a fluidised bed operation instead of a fixed bed operation has been assessed in terms of methane-to-hydrogen conversion and the amount of carbon accumulated on the catalyst. The possibility of carrying out a two-stage operation for hydrogen production from methane TCD in fluidised bed reactors, which consists of operating the fluidised bed as a reactor for methane decomposition until a defined catalyst deactivation degree is achieved and then operating the fluidised bed as a combustor for catalyst regeneration by carbon oxidation, has also been investigated. The typical behaviours of fluidised bed reactors contribute to the opportunity to adopt such a regeneration strategy on the basis of the performances obtained with catalyst regeneration by means of carbon combustion in fixed and fluidised bed reactors.