Sorption-enhanced chemical looping oxidative steam reforming of methanol for on-board hydrogen supply

Liang Zeng, Di Wei, Sam Toan, Zhao Sun, Zhiqiang Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Hydrogen is an indispensable energy carrier for the sustainable development of human society. Nevertheless, its storage, transportation, and in situ generation still face significant challenges. Methanol can be used as an intermediate carrier for hydrogen supplies, providing hydrogen energy through instant methanol conversion. In this study, a sorption-enhanced, chemical-looping, oxidative steam methanol-reforming (SECL-OSRM) process is proposed using CuO–MgO for the on-board hydrogen supply, which could be a promising method for safe and efficient hydrogen production. Aspen Plus software was used for feasibility verification and parameter optimization of the SECL-OSRM process. The effects of CuO/CH3OH, MgO/CH3OH, and H2O/CH3OH mole ratios and of temperature on H2 production rate, H utilization efficiency, CH3OH conversion, CO concentration, and system heat balance are discussed thoroughly. The results indicate that the system can be operated in auto-thermal conditions with high-purity hydrogen (99.50 vol%) and ultra-low-concentration CO (<50 ppm) generation, which confirms the possibility of integrating low-temperature proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (LT-PEFMCs) with the SECL-OSRM process. The simulation results indicate that the CO can be modulated in a lower concentration by reducing the temperature and by improving the H2O/CH3OH and MgO/CH3OH mole ratios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGreen Energy and Environment
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China ( U1663224 ) and the Open Research Fund of State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Complex Systems ( MPCS-2019-D-05 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences


  • Chemical looping
  • Hydrogen production
  • Sorption-enhanced reforming
  • Ultra-low-concentration CO

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