UC Santa Barbara team develops catalytic molten metals for direct conversion of methane to hydrogen without forming CO2

18 Nov 2017   Energy Storage

Researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara have developed catalytic molten metals to pyrolize methane to release hydrogen and to form solid carbon. The insoluble carbon floats to the surface of the melt, where it can be removed and stored or incorporated into composite materials. This method also avoids carbon formation on steam-reforming catalysts, which usually deactivates the catalysts. In a paper in the journal Science , the team reported that a 27% Ni–73% Bi alloy (Ni 0.27 Bi 0.73 ) achieved 95% methane conversion at 1065°C in a 1.1-meter bubble column and produced pure hydrogen without CO 2 or other by-products. Under these conditions, the equilibrium conversion is 98%. When the temperature was reduced to 1040 °C, the CH 4 conversion decreased to 86%. Steam methane (CH 4 ) reforming (SMR) followed by the water-gas shift reaction is the most common process for large-scale hydrogen production today. […]

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