Hydrogen has tremendous potential to bridge the energy transformation to a green and sustainable future. Steam methane reforming (SMR) is currently the primary means of hydrogen production, while it suffers from major barriers of high temperatures, high system complexity, and high CO2 emission. To address such challenges, we propose separation-enhanced SMR driven by simultaneous separation of H2 and CO2 to reduce reaction temperature on the premise of ensuring high methane conversion for temperature ranges compatible with commercial solar parabolic trough collectors. Experimental and numerical studies both demonstrate methane conversion of >99% and high-purity hydrogen and CO2 obtained at 400°C. Such low-energy penalty and low-carbon footprint approach shall enable promising solar hydrogen production by further integration with photovoltaic-powered separation and CO2 sequestration.
Keywords Hydrogen, Natural gas, Low-carbon, Simultaneous separation, Decarbonization