As an energy carrier, hydrogen has the potential to boost the transition toward a cleaner and sustainable energy infrastructure. In this context, steam methane reforming coupled with carbon capture through membrane separation is emerging as a potential route for hydrogen generation with a reduced carbon footprint. A potential way to improve the efficiency and reduce costs of the entire process is to integrate the hydrogen production system with a gas turbine power plant, using a fraction of waste heat exhausted to provide the heat and the steam required by the endothermic reforming reaction.
The paper assesses the techno-economic performances of a small-scale hydrogen and electricity co-production system, integrating a syngas production section, a gas turbine and a membrane separation unit.
The simulation study investigates two main configurations, depending on whether the gas turbine is fed by hydrogen or natural gas. For each configuration, energy and economic performance indices are evaluated varying the main plant operating parameters, i.e. the steam reforming temperature, the permeate sweep dilution, the membrane pressure ratio and the technology of gas turbine.