There is a growing interest in the usage of hydrogen as an environmentally cleaner form of energy for end users. However, hydrogen does not occur naturally and needs to be produced through energy intensive processes, such as steam reformation. In order to be truly renewable, hydrogen must be produced through processes that do not lead to direct or indirect carbon dioxide emissions. Dry reformation of methane is a route that consumes carbon dioxide to produce hydrogen. This work describes the production of hydrogen from biomass via anaerobic digestion of waste biomass and dry reformation of biogas. This process consumes carbon dioxide instead of releasing it and uses only renewable feed materials for hydrogen production. An end-to-end simulation of this process is developed primarily using Aspen HYSYS® and consists of steady state models for anaerobic digestion of biomass, dry reformation of biogas in a fixed-bed catalytic reactor containing Ni–Co/Al2O3 catalyst, and a custom-model for hydrogen separation using a hollow fibre membrane separator. A mixture-process variable design is used to simultaneously optimize feed composition and process conditions for the process. It is identified that if biogas containing 52 mol% methane, 38 mol% carbon dioxide, and 10 mol% water (or steam) is used for hydrogen production by dry reformation at a temperature of 837.5 °C and a pressure of 101.3 kPa; optimal values of 89.9% methane conversion, 99.99% carbon dioxide conversion and hydrogen selectivity 1.21 can be obtained.
R. Kaashyap Balaji, Rajan, K. Prasad, and Dr. Udaya Bhaskar Reddy Ragula, “Modeling & optimization of renewable hydrogen production from biomass via anaerobic digestion & dry reformation”, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2019.