This paper describes the experimental investigation of a new methane steam reformer utilizing waste heat through the latent heat storage material called ''phase change material (PCM)'.' The intermittently released waste heat such as steelmaking off gas was first converted to a continuous, constant temperature heat source in the form of latent heat of the PCM. Then, the stored heat in the PCM was supplied to methane to induce an endothermic steam-reforming reaction. In the experiments, a laboratory scale reformer in which packed beds of nickel porous catalyst was circumferentially covered by PCM of copper was intermittently heated from outside by a burner and the transient local temperatures were monitored. The results revealed that the PCM temperature was constant in spite of intermittent heating and that hydrogen was generated continuously. The proposed system could possibly produce hydrogen with less CO2 emission than that produced by a conventional hydrogen generator. This could allow the integration of two processes in the steelmaking and hydrogen production industries.
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