Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #375251

Research Project: Improvement of Soil Management Practices and Manure Treatment/Handling Systems of the Southern Coastal Plain

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

Title: Microwave-assisted dry reforming of methane for syngas production: a review

item PHUONG PHAM, T. - Vietnam Academy Of Science And Technology (VAST)
item Ro, Kyoung
item CHEN, LYUFEI - Stoneybrook University
item MAHAJAN, DEVINDER - Stoneybrook University
item SIANG, TAN JI - University Technology Malaysia
item ASHIK, U.P.M. - Kyushu University
item HAYASHI, JUN-ICHIRO - Kyushu University
item MINH, DOAN PHAM - University Of Toulouse
item VO, DAI-VIET - Nguyen Tat Thanh University

Submitted to: Environmental Chemistry Letters
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/14/2020
Publication Date: 7/26/2020
Citation: Phuong Pham, T.T., Ro, K.S., Chen, L., Mahajan, D., Siang, T., Ashik, U., Hayashi, J., Minh, D., Vo, D.N. 2020. Microwave-assisted dry reforming of methane for syngas production: a review. Environmental Chemistry Letters.

Interpretive Summary: Synthesis gas (abbreviated syngas) is a mixture of varying amount of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. Syngas is an important platform chemical gas mixture because it is commercially used for the production of ammonia, methanol, mixed alcohols, oxygenates, and hydrocarbons. Two major syngas production processes are gasification using coal, gas, petcoke, petroleum, biomass and waste as primary feedstocks and methane reforming. Of particular interest is methane reforming using a well-known greenhouse gas, CO2, known as dry reforming of methane (DRM). Both reactants of the DRM reactions are the main compounds of natural gas, which burns the cleanest and as such, is considered the bridge fuel to renewables, and biogas, which is considered as an important renewable resource. The DRM reaction also needs a catalyst to control the kinetic and the selectivity of the reaction. The DRM reaction is highly endothermal and requires high reaction temperatures. Heat transfer control plays important role in DRM process, which can be achieved by using microwave-assisted technology. This paper addresses a comprehensive synthesis of research work dedicated to microwave-assisted DRM with focus on challenges and opportunities of this process.

Technical Abstract: Dry reforming of methane (DRM) allows converting methane and carbon dioxide as the two main greenhouse gases into the useful synthesis gas (syngas, a mixture rich in hydrogen and carbon monoxide). However, this process requires high temperatures (ca. 900 Celsius °C) to activate the chemically-stable molecules of methane and carbon dioxide because DRM reaction is highly endothermic. A solid catalyst with appropriate thermal properties which must be active, selective, and stable is also needed for the DRM reaction. Thus, for this kind of chemical process, efficient heating of a reactor system plays crucial role to control heat transfer and optimize energy consumption. Microwave-assisted dry reforming of methane (MA-DRM) appears to become a promising solution compared to conventional heating. This paper reviews the recent research on MA-DRM. Thermodynamic aspects of the DRM reaction along with fundamentals of microwave heating and apparatus are reviewed. Reformers using microwave heating are analysed and discussed. Catalysts used in MA-DRM and their implantation inside a microwave-assisted reformer are presented and compared with reactors using conventional heating. Finally, the energy balance is discussed in order to evaluate the advantage of MA-DRM.