Hydrogen Production by Sorption-Enhanced Steam Glycerol Reforming: Sorption Kinetics and Reactor Simulation


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to M. C. Iliuta at maria-cornelia.iliuta@gch.ulaval.ca.


Sorption-enhanced glycerol reforming, an integrated process involving glycerol catalytic steam reforming and in situ CO2 removal, offers a promising alternative for single-stage hydrogen production with high purity, reducing the abundant glycerol by-product streams. This work investigates this process in a fixed-bed reactor, via a two-scale, nonisothermal, unsteady-state model, highlighting the effect of key operating parameters on the process performance. CO2 adsorption kinetics was investigated experimentally and described by a mathematical reaction-rate model. The integrated process presents an opportunity to improve the economics of green hydrogen production via an enhanced thermal efficiency process, the exothermic CO2 adsorption providing the heat to endothermic steam glycerol reforming, while reducing the capital cost by removing the processing steps required for subsequently CO2 separation. The operational time of producing high-purity hydrogen can be enhanced by increasing the adsorbent/catalyst volume ratio, by adding steam to the reaction system and by increasing the inlet reactor temperature. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 2105–2118, 2013