Chemical and transport behaviors in a microfluidic reformer with catalytic-support membrane for efficient hydrogen production and purification

Jin Xuan, Dennis Y.C. Leung, Michael K.H. Leung, Meng Ni, Huizhi Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Microchannel reformer integrated with H2selective membrane offers an efficient, compact and portable way to produce hydrogen. The performance of a membrane-based microfluidic reformer is restricted by species diffusion limitation within the porous support of the membrane. Recent development in novel catalytic-supported membranes has the potential to enhance H2production by decimating the diffusion limitation. Loading a Pd-Ag layer on to a Ni-catalytic porous support, the membrane achieves both H2separation and production functions. In this study, a two-dimensional CFD model combined with chemical kinetics has been developed to simulate a microchannel autothermal reformer fed by methane. The species conversion and transport behaviors have been studied. The results show that the permeation process enhances the mass transport within the catalytic layer, and as a result, the reactions are intensified. Most notably, the effectiveness factor of the water-gas shift reaction as high as 6 is obtained. In addition, the effects of gaseous hourly space velocity (GHSV) on methane conversion and H2flux through the membrane are also discussed, and an optimal value of GHSV is suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2614-2622
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012


  • Autothermal reforming
  • Hydrogen
  • Membrane
  • Microfluidics
  • Porous media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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