Earth Science News  





. Ceramic Microreactors Developed For On-Site Hydrogen Production

Paul Kenis, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, holds a model of the ceramic microreactor Illinois researchers designed and built for the on-site reforming of hydrocarbon fuels, such as propane, into hydrogen for use in fuel cells and other portable power sources. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer.
by Staff Writers
Champaign IL (SPX) Sep 20, 2006
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have designed and built ceramic microreactors for the on-site reforming of hydrocarbon fuels, such as propane, into hydrogen for use in fuel cells and other portable power sources. Applications include power supplies for small appliances and laptop computers, and on-site rechargers for battery packs used by the military.

"The catalytic reforming of hydrocarbon fuels offers a nice solution to supplying hydrogen to fuel cells while avoiding safety and storage issues related to gaseous hydrogen," said Paul Kenis, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Illinois and corresponding author of a paper accepted for publication in the journal Lab on a Chip, and posted on its Web site.

In previous work, Kenis and colleagues developed an integrated catalyst structure and placed it inside a stainless steel housing, where it successfully stripped hydrogen from ammonia at temperatures up to 500 degrees Celsius.

In their latest work, the researchers incorporated the catalyst structure within a ceramic housing, which enabled the steam reforming of propane at operating temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celsius.

Using the new ceramic housing, the researchers also demonstrated the successful decomposition of ammonia at temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. High-temperature operation is essential for peak performance in microreactors, said Kenis, who also is a researcher at the university's Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

When reforming hydrocarbons such as propane, temperatures above 800 degrees Celsius prevent the formation of soot that can foul the catalyst surface and reduce performance.

"The performance of our integrated, high-temperature microreactors surpasses that of other fuel reformer systems," Kenis said. "Our microreactors are superior in both hydrogen production and in long-term stability." Kenis and his group are now attempting to reform other, higher hydrocarbon fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, which have well-developed distribution networks around the world.

Related Links
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Powering The World in the 21st Century

Branson Made Green Pledge Under Pressure From Gore And Turner
London (AFP) Sep 24, 2006
British businessman Richard Branson made a multi-billion-dollar pledge to fight global warming under pressure from US media mogul Ted Turner and former vice-president Al Gore, he said in a newspaper interview Sunday. He told the Independent on Sunday that global warming was approaching "a tipping point" and Turner and Gore had convinced him it was time to act.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Ten Years Needed To Recover From Pakistan Quake
  • Analysis: Strengthening FEMA in DHS
  • Ideas To Rebuild Hurricane-Devastated New Orleans Showcased At Italian Fair
  • China's natural disasters cost billions, kill thousands: report

  • Research Detects Human-Induced Climate Change At A Regional Scale
  • Short-Term Ocean Cooling Suggests Global Warming Speed Bump
  • British Scientists Tell Exxon To Stop Anti-Climate Change Campaign
  • Melting Greenland Ice Sheet Spells More Bad News On Climate Change

  • New Technology Helping Foster The 'Democratization Of Cartography'
  • SAIC Becomes Authorized Supplier For Geospatial-Intelligence Solutions
  • DLR And Astrium Sign Contract For German Satellite TanDEM-X
  • Raytheon Completes NPOESS Segment Acceptance Testing Ahead of Schedule

  • Ceramic Microreactors Developed For On-Site Hydrogen Production
  • Branson Made Green Pledge Under Pressure From Gore And Turner
  • Biofuels As Invasive Species
  • CNOOC Clinches Gas Supply Deal With BP

  • FluWrap: Monitor 'H5N1 Lite' For Spread
  • Fight Against Animal Epidemics Pressing
  • HPV Vaccine Drawing Attention On All Sides
  • Analysis: Malaria In The Spotlight

  • Turf Wars Escalate Between People And Elephants In India Northeast
  • Pregnant Prehistoric Fossil Offers Clues To Past
  • Fruit Fly Aggression Studies Have Relevance To Animal, Human Populations
  • Most Diverse Marine Life Found Off Indonesia's Papua Province

  • Child Hospital Visits Rise With Pollution In Hong Kong
  • Floating Garbage Piling Up In Three Gorges Dam
  • Birth Defects Rise In China Due To Pollution
  • Philippines Oil-Spill Tanker 'May Have Sunk During Cargo Heist'

  • How The Brain Keeps Emotions At Bay
  • Meet the Earliest Baby Girl Ever Discovered
  • Oldest Juvenile Skeleton Discovered Will Help Piece Together Human Development
  • Beijing Citizens Live Longest In China

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement