A method and apparatus for producing a synthesis gas product having one or more oxygen transport membrane elements thermally coupled to one or more catalytic reactors such that heat generated from the oxygen transport membrane element supplies endothermic heating requirements for steam methane reforming reactions occurring within the catalytic reactor through radiation and convention heat transfer. A hydrogen containing stream containing no more than 20 percent methane is combusted within the oxygen transport membrane element to produce the heat and a heated combustion product stream. The heated combustion product stream is combined with a reactant stream to form a combined stream that is subjected to the reforming within the catalytic reactor. The apparatus may include modules in which tubular membrane elements surround a central reactor tube.
This invention was made with Government support under Cooperative Agreement No. DE-FC26-07NT43088, awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.