Catalytic partial oxidation of methane with air was investigated in a reverse flow reactor with commercial Rh/A1(2)O(3) catalyst in pellets. Temperature profile of the catalyst bed was measured by fast IR thermography and product composition was measured with a continuous gas analyzer. The effect of internal heat recovery on reactor performance and catalyst thermal stress is presented and compared with steady state operation. Feed direction switching time, total flow rate, and methane to oxygen ratio were investigated as process operating parameters. Data of catalyst bed temperature evolution during the flow cycle are presented and discussed. Comparison of dynamic heat integration with external feed preheating in terms of product composition and catalyst temperature profile is also presented. (C) 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.