23. Hydrogen Production by Solar Thermal Methane Reforming

  1. Prof. Detlef Stolten2,3 and
  2. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Viktor Scherer4
  1. Christos Agrafiotis,
  2. Henrik von Storch,
  3. Martin Roeb and
  4. Christian Sattler

Published Online: 21 JUN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9783527673872.ch23

Transition to Renewable Energy Systems

Transition to Renewable Energy Systems

How to Cite

Agrafiotis, C., von Storch, H., Roeb, M. and Sattler, C. (2013) Hydrogen Production by Solar Thermal Methane Reforming, in Transition to Renewable Energy Systems (eds D. Stolten and V. Scherer), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527673872.ch23

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, IEF-3: Fuel Cells, Leo-Brandt-Straße, IEF-3: Fuel Cells, 52425 Jülich, Germany

  2. 3

    Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, IEK-3 Institut für En. & Klimaforschung, Wilhelm-Johnen-Str., 52428 Jülich, Germany

  3. 4

    Ruhr-Universität Bochum LS f. Energieanlagen, IB 3/126 Universitätsstr. 150 LS f. Energieanlagen, IB 3/126 44780 Bochum Germany

Author Information

  1. Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., Institut für technische, Thermodynamik – Solarforschung, Linder Höhe, 51147 Köln, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 JUN 2013
  2. Published Print: 28 MAY 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527332397

Online ISBN: 9783527673872



  • hydrogen;
  • methane reforming;
  • solar thermal energy;
  • concentrated solar power


Renewable energy and particularly solar is a strong driving force to maintain energy availability via hydrogen as an energy carrier. Even though, obviously, the ideal raw material for Hydrogen production is water, it is currently accepted that at least for a transition period towards a “solar hydrogen- solar fuels” economy, hydrogen supply at a competitive cost can only be achieved from hydrocarbons - essentially natural gas (whose principal component is methane) using well-known commercial processes like reforming where methane is converted to syngas (Hydrogen and carbon monoxide). Both industrially established traditional reforming concepts, steam and dry/carbon dioxide reforming, being highly endothermic can be rendered solar-aided and thus offer in principle a real possibility to lower the cost for introducing renewable hydrogen production technologies to the market by a combination of fossil fuels and solar energy. In this perspective, the current review presents the development and current status of solar-aided methane reforming, focusing in particular on the reactor technologies and concepts employed so far to couple the heat requirements of the methane reforming process to Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) exploitation.