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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)
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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