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Hydrogen Manufacture Technology Description

Online Hydrogen Data: Manufacture, Uses and Applications

Intratec Chemical Process Library is the first free online encyclopedia of chemical process technologies. Our Library covers not only processes description themselves, but also the economics surrounding chemicals production, providing real-world knowledge on the production of several chemical commodities. Click here to check all chemicals covered.

In this page you will find free data about Hydrogen, including:

  • What is Hydrogen
  • How to make Hydrogen
  • Hydrogen uses and applications

This page presents brief synopsis of Hydrogen production technology, describing, in a concise way, relevant technical and economic aspects. Each manufacturing process description will consist of:

  • Major process steps
  • Simplified, schematic flow diagram & key equipment
  • Important safety or environmental considerations
  • Economic perspective, comprising capital expenditures and/or operating expenses

All content from Intratec's Chemical Process Library was produced based on reports published by Intratec. To learn more about Hydrogen production processes presented below and others examined in Intratec reports, click here.

Hydrogen Manufacture from Natural Gas

Hydrogen (H2) is an important chemical feedstock, mainly applied in the manufacture of ammonia and methanol, and for hydroprocessing operations in petroleum refineries. Also, since H2 is an energy carrier, it has been considered for stationary power and transportation applications.

Hydrogen manufacture technologies are separated into three main categories: thermal, electrolytic and photolytic. In thermal processes, such as reforming and gasification, H2 is produced from biomass and fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas. In electrolytic processes, H2 is obtained from water-splitting, using electricity that can be generated from a variety of sources, such as wind. In photolytic processes, lightenergy allows hydrogen production using novel photoelectrochemical and photobiological water-splitting processes.

In the U.S., H2 is mostly produced from natural gas using the thermal steam methane reforming (SMR) process. Natural gas is an important feedstock for H2 production since it is widely available and presents a high hydrogen-to-carbon ratio, reducing the generation of carbon dioxide (CO2) byproduct.

Technology Description

In the process described below and depicted in the following simplified diagram, H2 is produced from natural gas using an SMR process. The process was compiled based on information available in the chemical literature.

Hydrogen Manufacture via Steam Reforming Technology - Block Flow Diagram

Sulfur Removal

Natural gas feedstock is purified by catalytic treatment with H2 for removal of sulfur impurities. In the hydrotreater, H2 reacts, over a catalyst, with sulfur compounds present in the feed stream to form hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which is then adsorbed in the desulfurizer.

Steam Reforming

Purified natural gas is mixed with ...

Sizing a Hydrogen Production Facility

There are three kinds of facilities for H2 production ...

Economic Evaluation

An economic evaluation of the process was conducted ...


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This synopsis is based on the report Hydrogen via Natural Gas Steam Reforming - Cost Analysis. (For more information, Click here).