Steam Reforming Hydrogen could be the answer to costly hydrogen production. It converts waste into hydrogen with the use of rocket motor called Pulse Combustor. The heat is applied indirectly through steam whereby eliminating the risk of explosion as it process the byproduct of chip woods from paper mill wastes. This waste product called "black liquor" emits odor and toxic chemical when processed with other technologies other than steam reforming. Black Liquor is being processed to recover some reusable chemicals and energy.
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But for now, Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) is the technology that dominates hydrogen production in the US, which accounts to 95%. SMR is under the natural gas reforming method in hydrogen generation, large scale. It works by putting methane into intense steam pressure. For the oil refinery industry, SMR is considered as economical. It is said that majority of the hydrogen produced here are used to clean the sulfur out of the gasoline.
Although considered as economical it is not viewed by DOE as a measure to arrest the global climate change issues since the SMR process also produces CO2, said to be twice the amount of hydrogen produced.
"A well-developed natural gas infrastructure already exists in the U.S., a key factor that makes hydrogen production from natural gas attractive." - hydrogen Fact Sheets
"Natural gas consists mainly of methane (CH4), mixed with some heavier hydrocarbons and CO2. By applying high temperature steam to the CH4, hydrogen, and carbon oxides are created." - Hydrogen Fact Sheets.
"Steam reforming, sometimes called Fossil fuel reforming is a method for producing hydrogen or other useful products from hydrocarbon fuels such as natural gas. This is achieved in a processing device called a reformer which reacts steam at high temperature with the fossil fuel.
The steam methane reformer is widely used in industry to make hydrogen. There is also interest in the development of much smaller units based on similar technology to produce hydrogen as a feedstock for fuel cells. Small-scale steam reforming units to supply fuel cells are currently the subject of research and development, typically involving the reforming of methanol or natural gas but other fuels are also being considered such as propane, gasoline, autogas, diesel fuel, and ethanol." - Source: WikiPedia
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