Steam Reforming

Steam reforming of hydrocarbons is a well-established process for the generation of synthesis gas, hydrogen etc. The steam reforming process comprises the high temperature reaction of methane or higher hydrocarbons over a catalyst to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide in accordance with the following reaction equation:

CnH2n+2 + nH2O = nCO + (2n +1)H2

The reforming takes place in tubes packed with catalyst and arranged vertically in gas-fired steam reformers. A nickel catalyst is used and applied to a supporting structure. The operating conditions of the steam reformer vary depending on the application, with temperatures ranging from 740 °C to 950 °C and pressures of up to 50 bar. This wide range of operating conditions necessitates a versatile reformer design.

The Uhde proprietary reformer design has stood the acid test of performance over the past decades, satisfying the demands of various applications. Developments in all areas of concern have resulted in a high degree of all-around reliability. Consequently, many customers use the Uhde Reformer Technology.

Technology highlights

  • thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions' unique cold outlet manifold system for maximum reliability

  • Optimum heat distribution by using top firing with state-of-the-art burners (low NOx guaranteed)

  • Higher efficiency compared with side-fired reformers

  • Use of latest reformer tube materials based on the experience gained in many thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions reference plants

  • Modularised concept for easy transportation and economical construction

  • Reformer design ensures easy access and utilises a minimum of plot space

  • Reduction of maintenance work to an exceptionally low level:

    • Top firing requires a much smaller number of burners than side firing

    • The box-type design with flat walls permits standard refractory linings with bricks or ceramic fibres

    • Only one fire box is required even for large capacities