Core Technologies

Reforming (ATR, GHR, SMR)

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Reforming

JM Davy’s reforming technologies transform natural gas into synthesis gas (syngas, predominantly CO, CO2 and H2). Syngas is a feedstock for the Davy gas-to-liquids (GTL) and methanol processes.

We offer different reforming technologies to fit various operating conditions, creating syngas by the reaction of hydrocarbon feeds with water, CO2 or via combustion.

It is also possible to combine Davy reformers to optimise output, depending on process requirements.

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The Davy ATR partially combusts feed gas to generate heat for the endothermic reforming reaction. This self-heating (‘auto-thermal’) mechanism largely eliminates the need for any external heating.

Roll over the numbers on the flowsheet to see more information:

ATR1 ATR2 ATR3 ATR4
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Process description

The ATR is a refractory-lined vessel in which the feed gas partially combusts to generate heat, and then undergoes a steam reforming reaction over a fixed catalyst bed.

In most flowsheets, the process gas is partially reformed in a steam methane reformer (SMR) or gas-heated reformer (GHR) prior to reaching the ATR.

In these cases the ATR feed is composed of syngas (CO, CO2 & H2), unreacted methane (CH4) and water in the form of steam.

At the top of the vessel, the feed gas and a separate oxygen stream mix via a proprietary mixing device. The gases combust, generating heat for the reforming reactions further down the ATR.

The combustion process may be summarised as follows:

ATR - small equation1

At the base of the ATR, the remaining methane reacts endothermically with the steam over a fixed catalyst bed.

This reforming process may be summarised as follows:

ATR small equation2

The resulting syngas has very low methane content.

+Process option: ATR + SMR, ATR + GHR

The Davy ATR can be combined with our steam methane reformer (SMR) or gas-heated reformer (GHR).

Related Processes & Core Technologies

JM Davy’s reforming technologies underpin our methanol licensed processes, and can also be
used as part of our gas-to-liquids (GTL) process. Explore them here:

JM Davy’s ATR technology can combine with our SMR and GHR. Learn more about these technologies here:

The Davy GHR works in combination with our auto-thermal reformer (ATR) by partially reforming the ATR’s feed stream. It does this by operating as a simple interchanger, using the ATR’s hot product stream to drive the endothermic reforming reaction.

Roll over the numbers on the flowsheet to see more information:

GHR1 GHR2
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Process description

The gas-heated reformer (GHR) is a compact, refractory-lined vessel containing vertically-supported tubes filled with catalyst. Counter-current heat exchange with hot product gas from an auto-thermal reformer (ATR) heats the endothermic reforming reaction.

A pre-heated mixture of natural gas and steam enters the GHR.

Passing downwards through the catalyst-filled tubes, the feedstock partially reforms, producing a mixture of syngas (CO, CO2 & H2), unreacted methane and steam.

This process may be summarised as follows:

GHR small equation1

The gasses pass to an ATR which completes the conversion to syngas.

The hot syngas then returns to the GHR, and flows up through the vessel shell-side, driving the endothermic reforming reactions in the tubes by counter-current heat transfer.

Related Processes & Core Technologies

JM Davy’s reforming technologies underpin our methanol licensed processes, and can also be
used as part of our gas-to-liquids (GTL) process. Explore them here:

JM Davy’s GHR works in conjunction with our auto-thermal reformer (ATR). Learn more here:

Steam methane reforming is used for most methanol plant production worldwide. As the name indicates, the technology reacts natural gas with steam to produce syngas.

Roll over the numbers on the flowsheet to see more information:

SMR1 SMR2 SMR3 SMR4
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Process Description

The reforming process takes place in a single radiant box.

Prior to entering the steam reformer, the natural gas feed undergoes saturation with steam and pre-heating.

The reformer is an insulated rectangular draught-fired furnace containing rows of vertical, catalyst-filled tubes. Alternating with these reactor tubes are downward-firing burners situated in the roof of the reformer.

The unit operates co-currently, with the gas and steam flowing downwards through the tubes and the burners providing the heat for the endothermic reaction.

The gas and steam react over the catalyst to form a mixture of syngas (CO, CO2 and H2), residual methane and water in the form of steam.

This process may be summarised as follows:

SMR small equations1

The hot flue gasses collect at the bottom of the radiant box and discharge to a waste heat recovery system, returning heat to other parts of the process.

+Process option: SMR + ATR

The Davy SMR can operate in conjunction with an auto-thermal reformer (ATR).

Related Processes & Core Technologies

JM Davy’s reforming technologies underpin our methanol licensed processes, and can also be
used as part of our gas-to-liquids (GTL) process. Explore them here:

JM Davy’s SMR technology can be used in combination with an auto-thermal reformer (ATR). Find out more about our ATR here:


Related Processes

JM Davy’s reforming technologies underpin our methanol licensed processes, and can also be
used as part of our gas-to-liquids (GTL) process. Explore them here:


Core Technologies

JM Davy’s ATR technology can combine with our SMR and GHR. Learn more about these technologies here: