Modular Steam-Methane-Reforming Process

A one-time low investment solution specially designed for small and medium-sized hydrogen installations

Ruichang Modular SMR

In response to market demand, Ruichang has designed and developed a modular steam methane reforming process, which is specially used in small and medium-sized hydrogen plants. The SMR is divided into a modular form, and a certain number of devices and functions are packaged into the same module to jointly complete a specific sub-function. All modules are assembled according to a certain method to form a whole and complete the functions of the entire SMR system. In the entire modular SMR system, modules can be combined, disassembled, and replaced.

Ruichang Modular SMR
Ruichang Modular SMR

The modular SMR launched by Ruichang is a packaged lump-sum solution with low investment. The solution involves processes, catalysts, engineering, manufacturing, PSA and modular handover. Modular SMR requires only about a quarter of water electrolysis, which can effectively reduce operating costs. The system has PLC or DCS automatic control without an operator. Because of the modular design and modular supply, less space is required for on-site erection.

Existing hydrogen sources and operating costs of each hydrogen source

 

At present, there are three main hydrogen sources for SMR on the market, water electrolysis, methanol-reforming, and steam methane reforming. Among them, water electrolysis is used for 10-200 Nm3/h applications, methanol-reforming is used for 200-2500 Nm3/h applications, and steam methane reforming is currently used for 5000 Nm3/h or more applications.

Existing hydrogen sources

Operating costs of different hydrogen production

By comparing the operating costs of different hydrogen production, it can be seen that the operating costs of small modular SMRs are lower.

  • 1. Water electrolysis
    Every m3 H2 costs 4.0RMB when 1kW.h costs 0.8RMB and 5kW.h is needed for 1m3 H2.
  • 2. Methanol reforming
    Every m3 H2 costs 2.1RMB when 1kg methanol costs 3RMB and 0.71kg methanol is needed for 1m3 H2.
  • 3. SMR
    Every m3 H2 costs 1.0RMB when 1 m3 NG costs 2.5RMB and 0.4m3 NG is needed for 1m3 H2.
compared to water electrolysis

Annual operating cost savings of approximately $4.6 million compared to water electrolysis.

compared to methanol-reforming

Annual operating cost savings of approximately $1.3 million compared to methanol-reforming.

Design Highlights of Modular SMR

Case 1: 120km3/h SMR Reformer Project

120km3/h SMR Reformer Project

The 120km3/h SMR reformer uses 322 tubes, that is, each tube is 373m3. This means that 1000m3/h SMR only needs 3 pipes!

Case 2: Small SMR Project

Small SMR Project

Ruichang’s greatly simplified process and combined WHB make small SMRs possible.

Ruichang Modular SMR Solution

Ruichang provides two types of modular SMR solutions according to different capacities. The scheme includes compression, purification, reforming, transformation, heat recovery, pressure swing adsorption, automatic control, etc.

Ruichang Modular SMR Solution

Skid-mounted Structure

It is suitable for 100-1000Nm3/h SMR device applications.  The solution uses an optimized process and equipment design so that all units can be contained in the same container.  The required site area is small and there is no work requiring site installation. 

Modular Structure

It is suitable for 1500~3000Nm3/h application.  The unit will be pre-assembled as several modules, including all NDE, FAT tests.  Very limited site erection work is needed by simply connecting modular. By this design, only 25mX16m plot area is needed for the unit.