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Hydrogen Production from Natural Gas

By Chemical Engineering |

Hydrogen (H2) is an important chemical feedstock, mainly applied in the manufacture of ammonia and methanol, and for hydroprocessing operations in petroleum refineries. Also, since H2 is an energy carrier, it has been considered for stationary power and transportation applications. Hydrogen production technologies are separated into three main categories: thermal, electrolytic and photolytic. In thermal processes, such as reforming and gasification, H2 is produced from biomass and fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas. In electrolytic processes, H2 is obtained from water-splitting, using electricity that can be generated from a variety of sources, such as wind. In photolytic processes, light energy allows hydrogen production using novel photoelectrochemical and photobiological water-splitting processes. In the U.S., H2 is mostly produced from natural gas using the thermal steam methane reforming (SMR) process. Natural gas is an important feedstock for H2 production since it is widely available and presents a high hydrogen-to-carbon ratio, reducing the generation of carbon dioxide (CO2) byproduct. The process In the process described below and depicted in Figure 1, H2 is produced from natural gas using an SMR process. The process…
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