Published December 1967
This report is concerned with processes for the manufacture of hydrogen. It is based on information that has appeared in the published literature as patents, journal articles, or transcripts of technical presentations from about 1950 to the present.
Only those processes that have present commercial significance or show future promise were evaluated. Specifically, these are the steam- natural gas reforming process, the steam-naphtha reforming process (ICI)*, the noncatalytic hydrocarbon partial oxidation process (Texaco, Shell), the catalytic hydrocarbon partial oxidation process (Topsoe-SRA), and the catalytic hydrocarbon decomposition process (Universal Oil Products). Each of the processes is compared on the basis of a plant producing 50 million scf/SD of 97-99 mol% hydrogen at a discharge pressure of 275-300 psig. In addition, a limited evaluation is included of the noncatalytic coal partial oxidation process based on published data for a 30-million-scf/SD plant.
The basic hydrogen purity selected may be considered to be within the range of "medium' purity (95-99.5 mol%), although degrees of hydrogen purity are not well defined in the literature. Generally, "high" purity hydrogen is in the > 99.5 mol% range, and "ultrapure" hydrogen refers to the > 99.99 mol% range. Medium purity hydrogen is usually sufficiently pure for most large volume applications. For specialty applications, additional purity is required, so a section on hydrogen purification processes has been included in the report. In addition, the hot potassium carbonate process, the sulfinol carbon dioxide absorption process, and the carbon oxides methanation process for the purification of hydrogen have been evaluated as part of the total hydrogen processes in the report.
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