Compressed natural gas (CNG) is being increasingly used as a clean transportation fuel. However, for further reduction in emissions, particularly NOx, H-CNG mixture with ~ 20%2hydrogen is recommended. Presently, most of the H-CNG mixture is produced by blending hydrogen with CNG. Forhydrogen production, Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) is a major process accounting for more than 90%2of hydrogen production by various industries. In this process, natural gas is first reformed to syn gas under severe operating conditions (Pressure 20-30 bar, temperature 850-950 deg C) followed by conversion of CO to hydrogen in the shift reactor. Other method of hydrogen production, such as electrolysis of water, is more expensive. Further, there are issues of safety with handling of hydrogen, its storage and transportation for blending.In order to overcome these problems, a single step compact process for the production of H-CNG gaseous mixture through low severity steam methane reforming of natural gas has been developed. It employs a catalyst containingnickel, nickel oxide, magnesium oxide and silica and has the capability of producing H-CNG mixture in the desired proportion containing 15-20 vol %2hydrogen with nil CO production. The process is flexible and rugged allowing H-CNG production as per the demand. The gaseous H-CNG product mixture can directly be used as automobile fuel after compression. The process can help as important step insafe transition towards hydrogen economy. A demonstration unit is being set up at IOC R&D Centre.
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