Double-Tube Reactor Design and Process Optimization for On-Site Steam Methane Reforming Processes

Jaewon Lee, Hyungtae Cho, Myungjun Kim, Steve Hall, Il Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


A novel design of a double-tube steam methane reforming (SMR) reactor was evaluated in terms of conversion and reactor temperature, compared with the conventional, single-tube, fixed bed reactor. The heat from the reformate could be recovered through the double-tube reactor, which increased the conversion from 71.7 to 89.3% and lowered the reactor outlet temperature from 732.7 to 674.5 °C. An actual plant was then designed, wherein the entire operating process was tested using the double-tube reactor, which produced 100 N m3/h of pure hydrogen. Last, to maximize the thermal efficiency and to achieve a hydrogen-production rate of >100 N m3/h, the operating conditions were optimized with the decision variables and constraints based on actual operating experiences. Consequently, our developed optimal SMR system gave a thermal efficiency of 81.3%, higher than that of the current commercial products (approximately 70%), and achieved a hydrogen-production rate of 124.8 N m3/h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18028-18038
Number of pages11
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 7

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the “Program of Fostering Innovative Global Leaders” of the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) with financial support by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE), Republic of Korea (P0008747).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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