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An Experimental Study of Methanol Autothermal Reformation as a Method of Producing Hydrogen for Transportation Applications

UCD-ITS-RP-10-57

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Suggested Citation:
Choi, Kap-Seung, In-Jae Choi, Se-joon Hwang, Hyung-Man Kim, J. Lars Dorr, Paul A. Erickson (2010) An Experimental Study of Methanol Autothermal Reformation as a Method of Producing Hydrogen for Transportation Applications. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 35 (12), 6210 - 6217

This study investigates autothermal reforming (ATR) of methanol as a method of producing fuel cell-grade hydrogen for transportation applications. From the previous works in autothermal reformation, it is known that while the steam-to-carbon ratio (S/C) may somewhat affect the efï¬ciency of ATR, the oxygen-to-methanol ratio (O2/CH3OH) is a more signiï¬cant parameter in ATR of higher hydrocarbons. Methanol differs from higher hydrocarbons in that it is reformed at relatively low temperatures and, therefore, may respond to O2/CH3OH differently from higher hydrocarbons. According to the past studies, the optimum O2/CH3OH for ATR of methanol is equal to 0.23. However, this conclusion is based on models which utilize assumptions that are not necessarily accurate, such as complete fuel conversion and ideal reaction products. This study presents experimental data that shows how the ATR reactor efï¬ciency varies with O2/CH3OH. The results from this study may serve as a baseline for future research of autothermal reforming of hydrocarbon fuels as a method of producing hydrogen in transportation applications.

Keywords: autothermal reforming, oxygen-to-methanol ratio, methanol, efï¬ciency of ATR, fuel conversion