Hydrogen by Methanol Reforming

Hydrogen by Methanol Reforming

With the HM process, high purity hydrogen is produced by methanol reforming combined with a PSA purification step.

A mixture of methanol and demineralised water is vaporised in heat exchangers. Whilst passing the heated catalyst, the methanol/water vapour mixture is converted into a syngas consisting of H2, CO, CO2, CH4 and water vapour. In a cooler, the syngas is cooled to ambient temperatures, whilst simultaneously water vapour is condensed and recycled to the storage tank. The syngas now passes the molecular sieve PSA purification unit, where the H2 is isolated to the specified purity. The tail gas from the PSA purification unit is sent to the buffer tank. From the buffer tank, the tail gas is used as fuel for the required process heat.

The required heat for the process can be supplied either by the CALORIC unique circulation of hot inertgas or by a thermal oil system.

Using the circulation of inert gas instead of thermal oil as heat transfer fluid for heating, the reformer makes a thermal oil system obsolete and avoids all costs and problems of handling thermal oil.

A thermal oil heated plant may be more feasible for installations in an environment where thermal oil is already available or in very large MeOH based reforming plants (more than apx. 2000 Nm³/h H2) as the physical equipment size of the circulated inert gas based plant grows disproportionally.

See our articles related to H2 Generation:


Typical feed:
Methanol (e.g. British Standard BS 506)

Capacity range: 
200 – 5,000+ Nm³/h

H2 purity: 
typically 99.999% by vol.
(optional 99.9999% by vol.)

H2 supply pressure: 
typically 15 bar (g)

automatic, PLC controlled

For the production of 1,000 Nm³/h H2
from methanol, the following

Utilities are required:

  • 630 kg/h methanol (feed & fuel)
  • 360 kg/h demineralised water
  • 55 kW electric power
  • 13 m³/h cooling water