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The feasibility of Methane steam reforming (MSR) at low temperatures (450–650 °C) was studied in a Ni-BZCY72/BZCY72/Cu proton conducting membrane reactor, which allowed for the simultaneous separation of hydrogen. The cell reactor was first tested under open-circuit conditions, i.e., with the reactor operating as a catalytic reformer. The impact of several parameters, such as steam to carbon feed ratio, the operating temperature and the total flow rate was evaluated. The Ni-BZCY72 electrode exhibited high catalytic activity with methane conversion close to thermodynamic equilibrium, which was attributed to the high nickel content (45 wt.% after full reduction), as well as to the presence of ceria and zirconia in the support. Carbon dioxide was the main carbonaceous product with a molar ratio to carbon monoxide higher than 9, indicating that the Water Gas Shift reaction was predominant in the process. When hydrogen was electrochemically transported from the Ni-BZCY72 anode to the Cu cathode, a significant increase in methane conversion and hydrogen yield was observed. The methane conversion and hydrogen yield were improved by up to 50% in the temperature range of 550–650 °C over their corresponding open-circuit values. The BZCY72 perovskite exhibited satisfying proton fluxes and transference numbers at all temperatures and applied cell voltages examined. Finally, the Ni-BZCY72 reactor cell showed excellent chemical stability and durability, as well as coke tolerance for 24 h on stream.
• Methane steam reforming is studied in a proton conducting membrane reactor.
• Ni–BaZr0.7Ce0.2Y0.1O2.9 was found catalytically active for methane steam reforming.
• Hydrogen yield increased by up to 50% under proton pumping conditions.
• The cell reactor showed satisfactory stability for 24 h on stream.Figure optionsDownload as PowerPoint slide
Journal: Applied Catalysis B: Environmental - Volume 186, 5 June 2016, Pages 1–9