Hydrogen production by steam methane reforming in a membrane reactor equipped with a Pd composite membrane deposited on a porous stainless steel

Chang Hyun Kim, Jae Yun Han, Sehwa Kim, Boreum Lee, Hankwon Lim, Kwan Young Lee, Shin Kun Ryi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


With the aim of producing hydrogen at low cost and with a high conversion efficiency, steam methane reforming (SMR) was carried out under moderate operating conditions in a Pd-based composite membrane reactor packed with a commercial Ru/Al2O3 catalyst. A Pd-based composite membrane with a thickness of 4–5 μm was prepared on a tubular stainless steel support (diameter of 12.7 mm, length of 450 mm) using electroless plating (ELP). The Pd-based composite membrane had a hydrogen permeance of 2.4 × 10−3 mol m−1 s−1 Pa−0.5 and an H2/N2 selectivity of 618 at a temperature of 823 K and a pressure difference of 10.1 kPa. The SMR test was conducted at 823 K with a steam-to-carbon ratio of 3.0 and gas hourly space velocity of 1000 h−1; increasing the pressure difference resulted in enhanced methane conversion, which reached 82% at a pressure difference of 912 kPa. To propose a guideline for membrane design, a process simulation was conducted for conversion enhancement as a function of pressure difference using Aspen HYSYS®. A stability test for SMR was conducted for ∼120 h; the methane conversion, hydrogen production rate, and gas composition were monitored. During the SMR test, the carbon monoxide concentration in the total reformed stream was <1%, indicating that a series of water gas shift reactors was not needed in our membrane reactor system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7684-7692
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 12

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was conducted under the framework of the Research and Development Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) (B7-2411-06).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Hydrogen
  • Membrane reactor
  • Pd-based composite membrane
  • Process simulation
  • Stability
  • Steam methane reforming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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