The growing hydrogen generation market is one of the primary demand drivers for Steam Methane Reformers. Steam methane reforming is the most economical way to produce hydrogen. It involves two primary reactions: the reforming reaction and the water gas shift reaction. In the reforming reaction natural gas is mixed with steam and is heated at very high temperatures to produce carbon monoxide and hydrogen. To produce additional hydrogen, carbon monoxide from the reforming reaction interacts with steam in the water gas shift reactor. Commonly utilized feedstock in steam reformers are natural gas and naphtha. Steam reformers are segmented based on the type such as pre reformers, primary reformers, compact reformers and secondary reformers.
The main components of Steam methane reformer are furnace, water gas shift reactor and pressure swing absorbers. The furnace is where the process of liberating hydrogen from natural gas and steam begins. The gas-and-steam mixture travels down into reformer tubes that hang in vertical rows surrounded by gas burners that heat the mixture. The reformer tubes comprises of nickel catalyst that triggers a reaction causing methane in natural gas to react with water vapor to form hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Additional hydrogen is created in the water gas shift reactor. The water gas shift reactor is filled with an iron chrome based catalyst that creates steam to break into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen moves through the plant whereas oxygen joins carbon monoxide from the furnace to form carbon dioxide.
Hydrogen is used in a large number of applications ranging from petroleum recovery, chemical processing, refining, fuel cells and metal production among others. However the petroleum refinery segment and the ammonia production segment are the major markets for hydrogen. The global transportation industry is growing in leaps and bounds and promises to be one of the most attractive markets for hydrogen in the future. These segments are hence likely to be the major markets for steam methane reformers in the future. The increasing application of fuel cells is likely to stimulate the market demand for steam methane reformers in the forecast period. The industry trend is likely to show preference towards smaller sizes and portability in the future. However a majority of such reformers is still in the development and prototyping phase.
The Asia-Pacific region occupied the majority share for such steam methane reformers. With the increasing number of refineries and petrochemical complexes coming up in this region, the reformer market is likely to pick up in this region in the future. Large populations in the Asia-Pacific countries also significantly bolster the demand for hydrogen in ammonia production capacities further increasing the demand for reformers. The European region comes second in terms of overall demand. The demand profiles of Europe and the Eurasian countries are relatively different. While Russia has a massive refinery and petrochemical capacities planned, the refinery segment in Europe is diminishing. The transportation sector in Europe is likely to be a major consumer of these steam methane reformers of the forecast period. North America is a relatively mature market which is likely to show constant growth rates in the future.
Some of the key players in the business of steam reforming market are Linde AG, Axens, CB&I Company, Haldor Topsoe, Chevron Lummus Global LLC, KBR Inc, DuPont, GTC Technology, Foster Wheeler, Exxon Mobil, Flour Corporation, Shell Global Solutions and UOP among others.
This research report analyzes this market on the basis of its market segments, major geographies, and current market trends. Geographies analyzed under this research report include
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World
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