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Visiting Speaker Seminar: Professor Laurent Fulcheri

Feb 27, 10:30 am

Professor Laurent Fulcheri

PSL Research University, France

Methane Pyrolysis: the third way for low CO2 Hydrogen production

Time:  Thursday 27th February 2020, 10:30 am, followed by morning tea
Venue:  Plant Research Centre Auditorium


In the context of global warming and necessary transition towards a less carbonized energy, Hydrogen will probably play a key role in the next decades. Unfortunately, the most current method for H2 production, often referred as “grey H2”: Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) is responsible, in average at the worldwide scale, for 11 tons CO2eq per ton of Hydrogen !

Water electrolysis is obviously an ideal long term option for the production of decarbonized H2 (“green H2) assuming the use low carbon electricity.  Unfortunately water splitting reaction  is extremely energy intensive since it necessitates 285 kJ per mole (eq 1) which corresponds to approximately 40 kWh / kgH2 which makes the large scale development of this technology very challenging at short-middle term due to high production costs (around 6-4 US$, respectively for short and middle term).

H2O è H2 + ½ O2              285 kJ/Mole (1)

A third way which is today coming back on the front of the wave, often called as “Blue H2”,   is based on the high temperature Natural Gas pyrolysis (eq 2) for the production of Hydrogen and solid carbon.

CH4 è C + 2 H2  75 kJ/Mole (2)

The main advantage of this approach is that is thermodynamically much less energy intensive than water splitting since it necessitates around 7 times less energy per mass (or mole) of H2 produced than water splitting. Another advantage is that it allows the co-production of two valuable product: solid (nanostructured) carbon and hydrogen respectively.

Researches on Methane pyrolysis by thermal plasma have been carried out at MINES-ParisTech for more than 25 years[1]. The technology is now mature and a first commercial plant for the co-production of hydrogen and carbon black is today under construction in the US by MONOLITH Materials.

We’ll present in this conference, the state of the art on researches and technology in this field and discus on the potential of this technology at short, middle and long term.

[1] FULCHERI, Laurent, and SCHWOB, Yvan. From methane to hydrogen, carbon black and water. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, vol. 20, n° 3, 1995, p. 197-202.

About the speaker

Professor Fulcheri was born in France and graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers (ENSAM-ParisTech) in 1983 with major in Mechanical Engineering, and a Ph.D. in 1989 from INPGrenoble.

Laurent received his Habilitation (Teaching accreditation) in 2003. He joined Ecole des Mines de Paris (MINES-ParisTech) in 1989 as a Senior Researcher where he created and became Head of Plasma Group in 1995.

Laurent has published 83 papers in peer review journals and 12 patents, and is a specialist in CFD and MHD modelling in thermochemical processing and plasma-assisted reactive flows analysis.


Feb 27
10:30 am
Event Categories:


Auditorium, Plant Research Centre
2b Hartley Grove
Urrbrae, South Australia 5064 Australia
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