Preparation and characterization of nickel based catalysts for partial oxidation of methane


Courtesy of Hiden Analytical Ltd.

Hydrogen, which can be used in many fields without polluting the environment, is thought to be the cleanest fuel source of 21th century. Therefore, low cost production, facile storage and transportation of hydrogen are important research subjects that are investigated by many universities and related commercial facilities.

Steam-hydrocarbon reforming is the major hydrogen production process today. However, this process has many disadvantages like high energy demand and complicated equipment design etc. For this reason, there have been many researches to develop alternative processes for several decades and catalytic partial oxidation and autothermal reforming have come forth as good alternatives. Partial oxidation process doesn’t require external heat because of being slightly exotermic and occurs faster 10 or 100 times than the steam reforming, therefore small reactors could be used. Thus, by lowering the total investment and production costs, hydrogen production cost could be lowered. Furthermore, by the help of this process hydrogen, which is needed for the fuel cell, could be produced with a simple on-board fuel conversion device and the problems for hydrogen storage and transportation could be handled. Alike, introducing steam to the reaction area by using autothermal reforming hydrogen production yield can be increased and cost can be lowered.

Methane has seemed to be the best hydrocarbon source for partial oxidation and autothermal reforming process because methane is the main component in natural gas and natural gas is abundant on earth. Additionally, methane has the property of having the highest H/C (H/C=4) ratio in hydrocarbons.

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