Reactor design and catalysts testing for hydrogen production by methanol steam reforming for fuel cells applications

Francisco Vazquez Vidal (Corresponding Author), Pekka Simell, Jari Pennanen, Juha Lehtonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


A tubular-quartz reactor (TQR) and a multichannel reactor (MCR) made of aluminium were employed for methanol steam reforming to perform the kinetic modelling at atmospheric pressure using two commercial catalysts and one new catalyst, respectively. In TQR, the experiments were performed at oven temperatures from 200 to 300 °C, and with different steam to carbon (S/C) ratios. In MCR, the experiments were performed at reactor temperatures from 170 to 210 °C and with S/C ratio equal to 1.5. The experimental data was successfully modeled for the three catalysts. However, the results with TQR revealed that the temperature gradients were formed in the catalyst bed. Thus, the actual representation of the catalyst behaviour neglecting radial temperature gradients is somewhat uncertain. On the other hand, a multichannel reactor (MCR) provided good temperature control through the wall of the reactor and almost isothermal conditions in the catalyst bed which allowed obtaining a reliable model. This kinetic model was used in simulation and designing of a small scale heat exchanger reactor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)924-935
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • methanol steam reforming
  • kinetic modelling
  • packed-bed reactor
  • reactor design
  • reactor intensification

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