The steam reforming of methane is considered as one of the hydrogen production methods with solar thermal energy. In this study, lab-scale solar steam reforming of methane was examined under direct solar radiation from a solar simulator. A volumetric receiver–reactor with quartz window was used and three different catalysts were prepared, ICI 46-6, Ru/Al2O3, and Pd/Al2O3. An SiC foam absorber was employed as the catalyst supporter, and Al2O3 was applied by wash-coating onto the SiC foam support. The characteristics of the steam reforming of methane in a solar receiver were investigated with respect to reaction temperature, space velocity, and steam/methane ratio. The composition of the product gas was analyzed by gas chromatography. From the experiment, it was observed that methane conversion was increased with temperature and above the temperature of 700 °C, methane conversion increased significantly and approached equilibrium conversion. The catalytic activities of the three catalysts were estimated in the same reaction conditions, and the Ru/Al2O3 showed the highest activity followed by the Pd/Al2O3. The commercial ICI catalyst showed the lowest activity.

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