The conventional way to commercially produce hydrogen (H2) is to extract it from natural gas by reforming of methane . Although H2 is environmental friendly in itself, the greenhouse gas CO2 is a biproduct of H2 production from fossil sources. The efficiency level of the H2 production currently lies around 60-70%. The goal of this task is to develop hydrogen production technology with an efficiency higher than 75% including capture of CO2 to lower emissions from the H2 industry.

Our aim is to establish a modular Steam Methane Reformer (SMR), which is used to produce H2, based on ceramic Protonic Membrane Reformer (PMR) technology. In this process, we want to identify and improve on the most critical material performance and stability issues of the membrane and seals under SMR operating conditions at around 800 °C as well as modelling the PMR module and its integration.

As this is pre-combustion capture technology, it relates to both Deployment cases.

We collaborate closely with industry partner CoorsTek Membrane Sciences who develops the PMR technology. Professors Harry Tuller and Bilge Yildiz (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) are also associated with the task.

Results 2017

The task deals with development of the Protonic Membrane Reformer (PMR) technology by CoorsTek Membrane Sciences which allows hydrogen production with CO2 capture in a modular steam methane reformer.

The work aims to identify and improve material stability and performance issues of the ceramic membrane and seals under PMR operating conditions and thermal cycling.

A membrane unit at SINTEF was upgraded for testing of electrochemical membranes provided by CoorsTek and commissioned for PMR test conditions (800 °C and 10 bar pressure with a steam to carbon ratio of 2.5). A single-segment tubular membrane was tested under PMR conditions and further improvements were made to the setup.

A paper was submitted on atomistic studies of CO2 adsorption on the BaZrO3-based membrane material in connection with a research visit at MIT supported by CLIMIT and other RCN projects.

Task leader

Jonathan Polfus

Senior Research Scientist
Jonathan Polfus
Senior Research Scientist
400 61 363
Sustainable Energy Technology