CATACELJMSSR: Enabling higher capacity, reduced energy consumption and longer life.

Johnson Matthey’s CATACELJMSSR is a premium, high performance, catalytic solution for the steam reforming process for the production of hydrogen from natural gas.

The stackable structural reactor is a precision assembly made from a special grade of high temperature stainless steel foil, which is coated with a reforming catalyst.

Individual CATACELJMSSR assemblies are stacked one upon another to fill the catalysed length of each reformer tube. The steel foil has an expansion rate similar to that of the tube, and will expand and contract in unison with the tube. Due to the unique CATACELJM coating know-how developed over 25 years, the catalyst adheres durably to the foil during these thermal events.


Due to its significantly higher heat transfer, the CATACELJMSSR can provide a significant capacity increase to reformers that have been upgraded with this technology solution. Alternatively, the higher heat transfer of CATACELJMSSR can enable lower furnace temperatures with consequent energy savings and extended tube and furnace life. Furthermore, if a new steam reformer is designed to operate with CATACELJMSSR then the combination of the elevated heat transfer, low pressure drop and high activity of this technology allows a 10% - 20% reduction in the number of tubes within the reformer box compared to standard pelleted catalysts”.

The ceramic media in conventional steam reformers can be directly replaced with CATACELJMSSR . The corrugation/flow channels in the CATACELJMSSR  are key to its performance. They are positioned such that conductive, convective, and radiant heat from the reformer tubes can easily be transferred to ALL the working catalytic surfaces. By contrast, catalyst near the center of the conventional ceramic system is not well heated, and is largely ineffective. The special CATACELJMSSR flow geometry leads to improved overall catalytic performance, resulting in increased capacity and/or lower system cost.

CATACELJMSSR when installed as a direct like for like replacement for pelleted catalysts can generate significant return compared to the higher catalyst cost over the short term. This is especially the case if the plant can be released from tube wall temperature limits and extra firing capacity can be employed, at which point increases in margin several times the additional cost of the CATACELJMSSR catalyst can be generated.

© Johnson Matthey 2018