Thermal Methane Cracking on Molten Metal: Techno-economic Assessment
Palo, Emma
Cosentino, Vittoria
Iaquaniello, Gaetano

How to Cite

Palo E., Cosentino V., Iaquaniello G., 2023, Thermal Methane Cracking on Molten Metal: Techno-economic Assessment, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 105, 97-102.


Close to 80% of hydrogen is currently produced through emissions-intensive natural gas reforming and coal gasification, with almost all the rest being by-product hydrogen produced in facilities designed for other products. To significantly contribute to the clean energy transition, it is critical to develop low-carbon hydrogen production routes that can replace current production and at the same time expand production capacity to meet new demands. The two main low-carbon production routes are Steam Methane Reforming coupled with CCUS (blue H2) or water electrolysis (green H2); however, a new path based on methane pyrolysis is becoming more and more interesting in the last years. This process involves producing H2 with solid carbon instead of CO2 (turquoise H2). The aim of this article is to present a new scheme for Hydrogen production through the cracking of methane using renewable energy. The process is based on a molten metal reactor where the main reaction takes place inside the liquid bath: the molten metal bath in fact enhances heat transfer and can facilitate carbon removal. A techno-economic assessment for distributed H2 is analysed and reported. Finally, methane cracking performances are compared to conventional H2 production processes.