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Low temperature steam reforming of methane for hydrogen production


Project Description

Hydrogen, a primary raw material of the chemical industry, presents significant potential as an energy carrier that can drive the implementation of highly efficient energy systems at a reduced environmental impact. Industrial hydrogen production though, typically taking place via natural gas steam reforming, is accompanied by significant carbon oxides emissions, mainly from the burner used to supply heat to the endothermic reaction. The need for intensification of the process has spurred the interest to search for alternative concepts. Methane steam reforming (MSR) at a low temperature range of 400-550 ◦C in combination with hydrogen selective membranes is one such promising approach. The milder operating conditions lead to lower operation and materials costs, while the favourable temperature eliminates the need for separate water gas shift reactors. Thermodynamic limitations, resulting in low methane conversions and hydrogen yields, can be surpassed by the use of selective membranes that remove hydrogen in situ. As a result, hydrogen is separated with high purity and at the same time the reforming reaction equilibrium is shifted to the product side.

The development of microkinetic models can greatly facilitate and accelerate catalyst design efforts via reaction mechanism elucidation and catalyst performance assessment. The current project will further build upon a previously developed, thermodynamically consistent, microkinetic model for this reaction [1]. The model considers a comprehensive set of surface pathways and has already been successfully applied to elucidate reactants activation and conversion surface pathways over Ni and Rh catalysts.

Further extensions planned to be addressed within the framework of the current project relate to explicitly accounting for support effects on steam activation and validating the model over simulated biogas steam reforming experiments. Ultimately, application of the model for the optimal design of a low temperature membrane steam reformer under realistic conditions is targeted.

The successful candidate should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in chemical engineering or related discipline.

Essential knowledge of: Chemical Engineering.

Desirable knowledge of: Chemical reactor modelling, Chemical reaction kinetics, Programming in FORTRAN or similar

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct person for processing.

NOTE CLEARLY THE NAME OF THE SUPERVISOR AND EXACT PROJECT TITLE YOU WISH TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ON THE APPLICATION FORM.

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr P Kechagiopoulos () with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ().


Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. It is for self-funded students only.

References

[1] P.N. Kechagiopoulos, S.D. Angeli, A.A. Lemonidou, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 205 (2017) 238–253.

Related Subjects

How good is research at Aberdeen University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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