The main aim of this work is the presentation of both qualitative safety and quantitative operating analyses of silica membrane reactor (MR) for carrying out methanol steam reforming (MSR) reaction to produce hydrogen. To perform the safety analysis, HAZOP method is used. Before the HAZOP analysis, a comprehensive investigation of most important operating parameters effects on silica MR performance is required. Therefore, for a quantitative analysis, a 1-dimensional and isothermal model is developed for evaluating the reaction temperature, reaction pressure, feed molar ratio (steam/methanol) and feed flow rate effects on silica MR performance in terms of methanol conversion and hydrogen recovery. The model validation results show good agreement with experimental data from literature. As a consequence, simulation results indicate that the reaction pressure and feed molar ratio have dual effect on silica MR performance. In particular, it is found that methanol conversion is decreased by increasing the reaction pressure from 1.5 to 4.0 bar, whereas over 4.0 bar, it is improved. Moreover, the hydrogen recovery is decreased by increasing the feed molar ratio from 1 to 5, while over 5, it was approximately constant. After the evaluation of modeling results, the HAZOP analysis for silica MR is carried out during MSR reaction. The analysed operating parameters in the modeling study have been considered as key parameters in the HAZOP analysis. The safety assessment results are presented in tables as check list. By considering the HAZOP results, safety pretreatment works are recommended before or during the experimental tests of MSR reaction in silica MR. According to different parameters consequences, reaction temperature is the most critical parameter in MSR reaction for the silica MR studied in this work. In particular, to avoid the consequences of temperature deviation, it is recommended to use a PID temperature controller in the silica MR for MSR reaction. Copyright (C) 2013, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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