Cool it! Hydrogen production catalyst can reduce reformer temperature 60 degrees C.



Producing hydrogen syngas via steam methane reforming is a high stress process, as anyone who has looked through the peephole in a reformer can attest. In a steam methane reformer, expensive spun-cast, nickel-based reformer tubes filled with catalyst hang in a 30-foot to 40-foot tall furnace, which drives heat from the furnace into reformer tubes, where steam and methane gas transit through a catalyst bed. The severity of this process can weaken, warp and bend new tubes in a matter of a few years.

cool down blog picResearch shows that reducing tube wall temperature by 50 degrees C, for example, from 950 C to 900C, can double tube life. But turning down the furnace temperature usually means lower hydrogen syngas production — unless your reformer is charged with Catacel Stackable Structural Reactor (SSR®) hydrogen production catalyst for steam methane or propane reforming.

Catacel SSR catalyst uses structured foil substrates that greatly improve heat transfer from the reformer furnace to the reaction taking place inside the tube. SSR has demonstrated that high levels of hydrogen syngas throughput can be achieved in commercial reformers operating at up to 60 degrees C cooler and at 30 percent lower fuel consumption. Such capability means longer life for reformer tubes, and lower operating expenses for fuel to the burners — with 100 percent ROI demonstrated in commercial plants in as little as fourteen months.

While SSR’s foil catalyst substrate contributes to high heat conductivity, most of the heat transfer increase stems from breakthrough impingement heat transfer technology. In a tube filled with traditional catalyst-coated ceramic pellets, heat from the wall of the reformer tube transfers pellet-to-pellet through the reaction bed. Catacel’s unique and patented SSR design continuously drives the reformate to impinge against the hot inner tube wall, where it gains heat and returns it via structured vanes to the center of the reaction. This enables plant operators to reduce fuel to the burners, which reduces fuel cost, and reduce reformer temperature, which increases reformer tube life.

For more information, contact Catacel Sales at (330) 527-0731 ext 115.

© Johnson Matthey 2018