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Partial capture (steam reforming)


Technology Description

Steam methane reformation is a catalytic reaction in which CH4 reacts with high temperature (800 °C) steam to generate H2 and CO (syngas). The reforming process is followed by a water gas shift process in which the CO reacts with water at lower temperatures to generate more H2 and CO2. Then, CO2 is captured and a stream of high-purity H2 is obtained. When capture is applied only to this CO2-concentrated process stream, only around 60% of the CO2 produced can be captured. The remaining 40% of the CO2 is produced (diluted with nitrogen) in the reformer since natural gas is combusted to provide the heat needed for the process. This technology is widely used in ammonia plants with co-production of urea.

Relevance for Net Zero

This technology is not able to recude the carbon intensity of hydrogen production enough to play a relevant role in a net-zero emissions future

Key Countries

Canada, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United States

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