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Preliminary Equipment Design for On-Board Hydrogen Production by Steam Reforming in Palladium Membrane Reactors

Department of Chemical, Energy and Mechanical Technology, Rey Juan Carlos University, C/Tulipán s/n, 28933 Móstoles, Spain
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ChemEngineering 2019, 3(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering3010006
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane and Membrane Reactors Operations in Chemical Engineering)
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Abstract

Hydrogen, as an energy carrier, can take the main role in the transition to a new energy model based on renewable sources. However, its application in the transport sector is limited by its difficult storage and the lack of infrastructure for its distribution. On-board H2 production is proposed as a possible solution to these problems, especially in the case of considering renewable feedstocks such as bio-ethanol or bio-methane. This work addresses a first approach for analyzing the viability of these alternatives by using Pd-membrane reactors in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEM-FC) vehicles. It has been demonstrated that the use of Pd-based membrane reactors enhances hydrogen productivity and provides enough pure hydrogen to feed the PEM-FC requirements in one single step. Both alternatives seem to be feasible, although the methane-based on-board hydrogen production offers some additional advantages. For this case, it is possible to generate 1.82 kmol h−1 of pure H2 to feed the PEM-FC while minimizing the CO2 emissions to 71 g CO2/100 km. This value would be under the future emissions limits proposed by the European Union (EU) for year 2020. In this case, the operating conditions of the on-board reformer are T = 650 °C, Pret = 10 bar and H2O/CH4 = 2.25, requiring 1 kg of catalyst load and a membrane area of 1.76 m2. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogen; on-board; steam reforming; ethanol; methane; membrane reactor; palladium; modeling hydrogen; on-board; steam reforming; ethanol; methane; membrane reactor; palladium; modeling
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Holgado, M.; Alique, D. Preliminary Equipment Design for On-Board Hydrogen Production by Steam Reforming in Palladium Membrane Reactors. ChemEngineering 2019, 3, 6.

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