Design of a thermally balanced membrane reformer for hydrogen production

David S.A. Simakov, Moshe Sheintuch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Hydrogen production by autothermal methane steam reforming in a catalytic fixed bed membrane reactor has been analyzed and simulated. The two-compartment reactor indirectly couples the endothermic steam reforming with methane oxidation, while hydrogen is separated by a permselective Pd membrane. Simulations of the reactor, using published kinetics, map the acceptable domain of operation and the optimal set of operating parameters. The simulations exhibit slow-moving thermal fronts and the steady-state operation domains bounded by stationary fronts, separating domains of upstream and downstream-moving fronts. Front velocity depends on thermal coupling and hydrogen separation. An analytical approximation for the thermal front velocity in a thermally balanced reactor has been developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2735-2750
Number of pages16
JournalAICHE Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Autothermal reforming
  • Hydrogen
  • Membrane reactor
  • Steam reforming
  • Thermal front


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