US-headed global industrial technologies, processes, and performance materials major Honeywell International Inc (Honeywell) and ZoneFlow Reactor Technologies, LLC (ZFRT) have announced that they successfully conducted pilot plant testing of the "ZoneFlow" Reactor in ZFRT’s large-scale pilot plant at Université Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
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In 2021, Honeywell UOP and ZoneFlow Reactor Technologies (ZFRT) signed a joint development agreement (JDA) to grow and commercialize the ZoneFlow Reactor technology.
This technology can provide a significant improvement in the productivity and cost-effectiveness of steam methane reforming for hydrogen and syngas production.
The combination of Honeywell’s domain expertise and ZoneFlow’s Reactor technology is geared to provide high-value creation for both new and existing steam methane reforming units. There are over 800 steam methane reforming units worldwide for hydrogen generation and a similar number is employed for ammonia and methanol production, said Ted Faiella, VP and General Manager of Equipment, Honeywell UOP Process Technologies.
The near-commercial-level testing validated increased steam reforming capacity by at least 15 percent in terms of feed flow compared to conventional state-of-the-art pellets, with no higher methane slip and without increasing the maximum tube skin temperature or pressure drop.
This increased production of hydrogen allows for the steam methane reformer to convert hydrocarbon feeds such as natural gas or naphtha and steam into synthesis gas.
The successful testing can allow for significant capital savings for new steam methane reforming plants and higher productivity for existing plants. As ZoneFlow’s reactors can increase hydrogen production with existing assets, this ready-now technology can play a major role in the energy transition as refineries look to burn hydrogen instead of natural gas to lower their carbon emissions, said Ted Faiella.