Methane Cracking

Webber, Tyler
Weddle, Caleb
Paintner, Matthew
Lipe, Andrew
The purpose of our design project is to produce a high purity hydrogen product that emits a low concentration of carbon dioxide emissions. The objective will be to replace the current industrial standard of steam reforming which doesn't produce a marketable byproduct as well as producing high amount of carbon dioxide emissions. Throughout the semester, we have researched different processes to crack methane which included the Hazer process, plasma pyrolysis, nickel based catalysis, and direct contact pyrolysis of natural gas using a molten metal. For this project, we decided to design a process based off direct contact pyrolysis due to its ability to produce product with a high conversion as well as not needing significant amounts of water for the reaction along with producing significantly less carbon dioxide emissions. With this process, we learned that it emits nearly half as much of the CO2 as steam reforming. The molten metal catalyst for this process adds residence time to the reaction and increasing the conversion of reactants to products. We found tin to be the most common in past laboratory trials due to tin's high boiling point, relatively low melting point, and high density. These properties seem ideal for this process since tin acts as a natural separator for our product and byproduct.
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