Hydrogen Plants

For over 50 years, round furnace steam reformers combined with pressure swing adsorption (PSA) purification have been the proven technology for hydrogen production up to 10 MMscfd, with over 400 plants constructed by a number of firms over the decades.  Benefiting from almost complete shop-based fabrication, and modular assembly at the jobsite, round reformers offer low capital cost, short project schedule and the ability to carefully control quality of materials and workmanship.

As larger and larger hydrogen plants were required for world-scale refineries, the focus of large engineering firms moved to box reformer technology in the 1980’s, leaving ever-fewer suppliers of round reformers worldwide.  Headwaters Solutions is proud to be the only Western Hemisphere firm focused on the supply of hydrogen equipment for smaller projects in both heavy industry and for clean fuels applications, and has focused on incorporating best in class technology in catalysts, materials and burners to develop a line of round reformer plants that offers advantages in emissions, efficiency, and durability compared to heritage plants.  

Headwaters principals are inventors on over 30 U.S. Patents regarding steam reformer technology, and have collected together the best and most proven reforming technologies of the past 25 years as the foundation for our best in class plants, which combine innovative technologies into the proven round reformer platform to offer a uniquely modern and high-performance flowsheet with low complexity and high reliability.

We are particularly proud of our exclusive partnership with Johnson Matthey to produce new H2 plants including their revolutionary Catacel SSR® reforming catalyst.  Catacel’s patented flow geometry delivers major performance improvements to round reformer plants, allowing either:

Whichever route is taken, Catacel SSR® delivers much more uniform metal temperatures in the reformer, extending the lifetime of the costly tubes and gas collector system.  Catacel SSR® is also an excellent option for increasing performance of existing round reformer hydrogen plants through revamp projects.

Headwaters is also a PSA H2 purification specialists, and the high performance of our PSA plants further reduces the energy consumption and installed cost  of the reformer plant itself, with options to focus on improving efficiency or reducing capital cost of the completed plant.

As a companion to our methanol process, or for other applications that require synthesis gas, Headwaters can also provide customized round reformer plants specifically-tailored to synthesis gas production.