Natural Gas to Syngas
Synthesis gas (Syngas, a mix of CO and H2) is the common first step from natural gas, biomass or coal to a host of hydrocarbon products and others, via methanol, ammonia, or Fisher-Tropsch products. The processes for making synthesis gas are therefore highly relevant to any type of natural gas utilization that does not involve complete combustion.
With synthesis gas as intermediate step, any organic product can be made from natural gas.
Production and tailoring the syngas composition
After initial cleanup steps of the natural gas the syngas is produced by catalytic steam reforming with a product gas composition depending on the intended use (e.g. in production of methanol, ammonia, or in Fisher-Tropsch synthesis). The syngas composition is tailored by water-gas shift reactions (usually two steps) and by gas separation processes (like e.g. pressure swing absorption units). In inGAP work has been carried out to study corrosive effects on operational equipment (known as Metal Dusting) in syngas production and reactor development for Sorbent Enhanced Steam Methane Reforming (SE-SMR). In SE-SMR the CO2 is captured in-situ by a metal oxide during the steam reforming of methane. In this way a high yield hydrogen stream is produced and subsequent gas cleaning steps are minimized. The produced CO2 is highly concentrated and suited for sequestration.