Steam reforming of methane over a nickel-based catalyst


  • Rakhi Rakhi
  • Vivien Günther
  • Jana Richter
  • Fabian Mauss



Nickel-based catalyst, One-dimensional modeling, Methane, Steam reforming


Steam reforming is a promising route to convert natural gas into syngas - a mixture of H2 and CO, used as a feed stock e.g. for ammonia, methanol and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis processes. For the industrial application of steam reforming, a detailed understanding of the process is a prerequisite. Models that capture the detailed homogeneous and heterogeneous reaction kinetics and the comprehensive transport processes as well as their interaction have the potential to optimize the catalytic process without expensive experimental campaigns. In the present work, a one-dimensional model, LOGEcat is used to carry out a detailed investigation considering a multi-step reaction mechanism for modeling steam reforming of methane over nickel-based catalyst. The model is computationally cost effective due to the reduction in dimensionality, in contrast to experimental investigations which are not always feasible or 2D/3D simulations which are computationally expensive. The 1D tool is based on a series of perfectly stirred reactors (PSR) and is applicable to the simulation of all standard after-treatment catalytic processes of combustion exhaust gas as well as other chemical processes involving heterogeneous catalysis such as the Sabatier process. We have applied the model to perform the simulations for various reactor conditions in terms of parameters such as temperature, pressure, velocity and steam-to-carbon (S/C) ratio. Several chemical reaction terms have been analyzed and the results are compared with 2D simulation and experimental reference data. We note a very good agreement of the various profiles produced with the cost-effective reduced order model in comparison to the reference data.