Standard Article

Membrane reactor concepts

Fuel Cell Technology and Applications

Hydrogen storage and hydrogen generation

Fuel processing from hydrocarbons to hydrogen

  1. S. Wieland,
  2. T. Melin

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f302018

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Wieland, S. and Melin, T. 2010. Membrane reactor concepts. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. Institut für Verfahrenstechnik RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Fuel cell powered vehicles with on-board reforming need compact and lightweight components. A membrane reactor that combines hydrogen permeable membranes with a methanol steam reformer promises considerable weight and space savings. Its dense metal membranes produce high-purity hydrogen over a wide range of pressures and loads. The selective removal of hydrogen yields methanol and CO conversions that are higher than the equilibrium conversion in a conventional reactor. Results with three different metal membranes in a membrane reactor for steam reforming of methanol are presented. A mathematical model accurately describes the measured performance of the membrane reactor and allows predictions for other values of the process parameters.


  • membrane reactor;
  • fuel cell;
  • metal membranes;
  • methanol reforming;
  • transport processes;
  • separation;
  • diffusion