Research Papers

Solar Steam Reforming of Methane in a Volumetric Receiver–Reactor With Different Types of Catalysts

[+] Author and Article Information
Han Bin Do, Jong Tak Jang

Department of Chemical Engineering,  Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Korea

Gui Young Han1

Department of Chemical Engineering,  Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Koreagyhan@skku.ac.kr


Corresponding author.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 134(4), 041013 (Oct 05, 2012) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007355 History: Received October 31, 2011; Revised July 10, 2012; Published October 05, 2012; Online October 05, 2012

The steam reforming of methane is considered as one of the hydrogen production methods with solar thermal energy. In this study, lab-scale solar steam reforming of methane was examined under direct solar radiation from a solar simulator. A volumetric receiver–reactor with quartz window was used and three different catalysts were prepared, ICI 46-6, Ru/Al2 O3 , and Pd/Al2 O3 . An SiC foam absorber was employed as the catalyst supporter, and Al2 O3 was applied by wash-coating onto the SiC foam support. The characteristics of the steam reforming of methane in a solar receiver were investigated with respect to reaction temperature, space velocity, and steam/methane ratio. The composition of the product gas was analyzed by gas chromatography. From the experiment, it was observed that methane conversion was increased with temperature and above the temperature of 700 °C, methane conversion increased significantly and approached equilibrium conversion. The catalytic activities of the three catalysts were estimated in the same reaction conditions, and the Ru/Al2 O3 showed the highest activity followed by the Pd/Al2 O3 . The commercial ICI catalyst showed the lowest activity.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic diagram of experimental setup for solar steam reforming of methane

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Figure 2

Photograph of different catalyst loading methods: (a) spray method, (b) wash-coat method

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Figure 3

Effect of temperature on (a) CH4 conversion, (b) CO selectivity, for volumetric hourly space velocity (VHSV) = 10,000 cm3 /gcat h, steam/methane mole ratio = 3

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Figure 4

Effect of VHSV on (a) CH4 conversion, (b) CO selectivity, for T = 750 °C, steam/methane mole ratio = 3



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