hydrocarbon, hydrogen, circulating fluidized bed, reformer
Hydrogen represents one of the most promising clean fuels for the future. Reforming of hydrocarbons (e.g. natural gas, gasoline, diesel, etc.) represents the most promising route for the production of hydrogen because it yields hydrogen from both the hydrocarbon and the steam. The steam reforming of natural gas to produce hydrogen and/or syngas has been extensively used in the last few decades in a number of petrochemical refining processes (e.g. ammonia production, methanol production and hydrogen production for hydro-treating and hydro-cracking, etc.) In spite of the fact that the steam reforming process is widely used in industry for the production of hydrogen and/or syngas, it is quite inefficient and heavily polluting. The process suffers from a number of intrinsic limitations, which suggests extensive well-directed multidisciplinary research in order to ‘break’ these limitations and develop a new generation of hydrocarbon reformers, which are more efficient, compact and environmentally friendly. This paper presents a novel Auto-thermal Membrane Circulating Fluidized Bed (AM-CFB) reformer, which is highly efficient and is suitable for a wide range of raw and renewable materials such as bio-oil from biomass. This novel reformer does not need external heat and produces pure hydrogen directly from its hydrogen selective membrane. Its hydrogen yield approaches the stoichiometric yield from any hydrocarbon used.