Palma V., Ricca A., Meloni E., Miccio M., Martino M., Ciambelli P., 2015, Methane Steam Reforming Intensification: Experimental and Numerical Investigations on Monolithic Catalysts, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 43, 919-924.
Methane steam reforming is still the most economical route for hydrogen production. It generates hydrogen for refining processes, food industry, and recently for fuel cell applications. Recent studies focused on the application of structured catalysts in mass transfer limited-reactions indicated that there are potentially several advantages for monolithic reactor as compared to the packed reactors such as, especially in terms of lower pressure drop and better mass and heat transfer performances. So highly thermal conductive honeycomb structures were proposed as catalyst supports to enhance the heat and material transfer properties of the final catalysts. This work focuses on the experimental testing of the methane steam reforming reaction performed on a Ni-loaded SiC monolith packaged into an externally heated tube. In particular, the two flow configurations of Flow Through and Wall Flow were investigated and compared, the effect of a washcoat deposition was evaluated. The experimental tests indicate that the Wall Flow configuration may overcome the fixed-bed reactor problems, yielding a more uniform temperature distribution and more effective mass transport.