Steam methane reforming (SMR) for hydrogen production with carbon capture from pressure swing adsorption (PSA) tail gas using MDEA

Authors: Janssen, J.L.L.C.C.

Steam methane reforming (SMR) is a method that can be used for producing hydrogen from natural gas. This is achieved in a processing device called a reformer which reacts steam at high temperature with the gas. SMR uses the following endothermic reaction:

CH4 + H2O ⇌ CO + 3H2.

The reaction is carried out at an activation energy of 206 kJ/mol and temperatures of 500-900 degrees Celsius [3]. In this SMR plant, a COGEN plant is running to export a relatively small fraction of the energy involved to the electricity grid. This plant involves the capture of CO2 from the pressure swing adsorption (PSA) tail gas using chemical absorption (using methyldiethanolamine – MDEA). This can achieve a CO2 avoidance of 52%.