Sensitivity analysis and optimization of a membrane reactor for hydrogen production through methane steam reforming

Igor Nardi Caxiano, Lizandro de Sousa Santos, Diego Martinez Prata


Hydrogen is one of most studied sources for clean power generation in the near future. Nowadays, hydrogen is mainly produced through methane steam reforming in packed bed reactors, with a promising alternative to this technology being the implementation of hydrogen-selective membrane reactors. This work compares the isothermal mathematical models of both designs by assessing the effects of multiple design variables on methane conversion, while also providing recommended operating conditions for maximum efficiency of the membrane reactor over the packed bed technology. Additionally, an optimization study is carried by dividing the reactor length in isothermal segments to achieve higher efficiency. Results showed that the membrane technology considerably increases hydrogen production, with temperature being the most influential variable on methane conversion. While the temperature profile optimization provided similar conversions compared to the isothermal models, the membrane reactor’s efficiency was increased, further justifying its implementation.


Membrane reactor; Hydrogen; Sensitivity analysis; Optimization; Scilab

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Direitos autorais 2020 Igor Nardi Caxiano, Lizandro de Sousa Santos, Diego Martinez Prata

Revista Mundi Engenharia, Tecnologia e Gestão ISSN 2525-4782

Qualis: B4 - Interdisciplinar, B5 - Geografia, B5 - Administração Pública e de Empresas, Ciências Contábeis e Turismo, B5 - Comunicação e Informação, B5 - Engenharias III