Alternative technologies to steam-methane reforming. B.M. Tindall and M.A. Crews. Hydrocarbon Processing, November 1995, 74(11), 75--82.
Steam methane reforming (SMR) for producing hydrogen and carbon monoxide from natural gas feedstocks is discussed. Competing technologies involve combining SMR with oxygen secondary reforming, autothermal reforming, and thermal partial oxidation. All of these alternative technologies become attractive if low-cost oxygen is available. Each of these technologies is described and illustrated. Advantages and disadvantages of each are compared in a tabular summary. For competing technologies the H2/CO product ratio is described as the most important processing parameter. Economic attractiveness depends upon oxygen availability, hydrocarbon feedstock, H2/CO ratio required, natural gas price, and capital cost. These must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 1 ref.