Some specific processes are required to obtain pure hydrogen and the most usual one is natural gas reforming, where natural gas reacts with superheated steam producing H2, CO, CO2 and H2O. This paper presents the exergy and production costs evaluation of a complete hydrogen production unit of a petroleum refinery. The hydrogen production unit analysed in this paper has to supply 550,000 Nm3 of hydrogen per day to purify diesel oil. Based on a synthesis plant of the hydrogen production unit, the exergy efficiency of each component and of the overall plant are calculated. The hydrogen production cost is determined by means of a thermoeconomic analysis in which the equality cost partition method is employed, including capital and operational costs, in order to determine the production cost of hydrogen and other products of the plant.
hydrogen production, exergy analysis, thermoeconomic analysis