Steam methane reforming (SMR) in a membrane reactor is a promising method to continuously produce high-purity hydrogen, which can directly supply to the proton exchange membrane fuel cell without complex CO purification processes. The performance of SMR in a Pd–Ru membrane reactor with a counter-current configuration for various operation parameters is investigated numerically in this work. In particular, the reverse hydrogen permeation is analyzed. The enhancement in the methane conversion by increasing the sweep ratio is ineffective for high sweep ratios. The hydrogen permeation rate increases with the membrane length, but the average hydrogen permeation flux decreases. The reverse permeation length increases with membrane length and feed gas flow rate. However, it decreases with sweep ratio and temperature. Replacing the membrane with the non-permeation material in the reverse permeate region achieves higher performance with less membrane area.
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