Steam methane reforming (SMR) is the worldwide leading technology to produce hydrogen. In this process, natural gas reacts with water vapour in the presence of a metal catalyst in a reformer (usually Ni-based catalyst) to produce syngas containing H2 and CO.
There are further reforming alternatives that allow not only the use of steam as input to produce syngas but also CO2. Consequently, the intention of this project is the inclusion of waste gas streams from energy intensive sources (typical from the steel, refractory or petrochemical industry) being rich in CO2 into reforming processes to produce syngas.
A comparative study between the different reforming technologies regarding their CO2-mitigation potential will be carried out in order to select an appropriate process. To accomplish the feasibility study of the selected reforming process, thermodynamic simulations including mass and energy balances will be performed using different software packages. The model will be optimized to reach a maximal CO2-reduction.
Next step will be the design and launch of a lab scale reformer where tests with different catalysts, diverse process conditions and distinct gas compositions can be performed. The last point of the project will be the evaluation of the operation of the whole system in terms of CO2-reduction potential, suitability of the diverse waste gases and H2/CO ratio obtained in the syngas among others.
Additionally, the catalytic methanation of refractory off-gases and the potential utilization of the produced SNG will be investigated.
The main objective of the project is the installation and operation of a reforming pilot plant capable to use CO2 containing gases from energy intensive industries like the steel or refractory industry.
Additionally, the integration of the reforming of CO2 containing waste gas streams into existing processes will be evaluated by means of process simulations. Fundamental knowledge should be gained regarding the feasibility of the implementation of the reforming technology into industrial process applications. The utilization of the synthetic methane produced out of CO2 rich waste gases will be studied for its use in the refractory production process.
In conclusion, knowledge will be acquired on the abatement and treatment of CO2 emissions from waste gases through innovative reforming processes. A step forward to meet the climate objectives will be performed. By using the waste gases, CO2 will no longer be an unwanted product but a valuable feedstock. Additional revenues can be gained by the production of syngas and its further conversion to fuels and chemicals.