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Paving the way for Blue Hydrogen – Clariant's innovative catalytic solutions to reduce carbon intensity

29 Jun 2023
Capturing CO2 emissions is a cornerstone of the technology roadmap for addressing climate change. Clariant's well-proven catalyst technology helps hydrogen and ammonia producers achieve their carbon neutrality goals by reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions, leading to lower costs for CO2 capturing and storage (CCS) in Blue Hydrogen & Blue Ammonia concepts. 
Among commercially available hydrogen and syngas production technologies, steam methane reforming (SMR) is currently the most used process, requiring a significant heat input usually obtained by burning natural gas. To improve energy efficiency, Technip Energies and Clariant have jointly developed and commercialized the award-winning EARTH® (Enhanced Annular Reforming Tube for Hydrogen and Syngas), a novel recuperative steam reforming technology. It is a drop-in solution for existing or new reformer tubes, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 20%, thus facilitating CO2 capturing and making blue hydrogen production more cost-efficient.
At large capacities, it might be worthwhile to replace the steam methane reformer (SMR) with an oxygen-blown autothermal reformer (ATR). In this case, CO2 emissions caused by the firing of the reformer are completely avoided and renewable energy can be used for the necessary air separation. This technology is proven in numerous ATR-based Air Liquide E&C licensed and designed methanol plants, and Clariant has decades of successful experience with its highly robust and active ReforMax® catalyst series.
The Water Gas Shift reaction is a crucial catalytic step for all relevant methods of syngas preparation. To further optimize the hydrogen production process's total energy efficiency, a reduction of the steam/gas ratio is desired, which is currently limited by iron-based catalyst technology and can be solved by Clariant´s new ShiftMax 150 HTS catalyst generation 
CO2 emissions avoidance as achieved by a superior catalyst and process technology is the key to price-competitive blue hydrogen production.