International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.44, No.45, 24782-24791, 2019
Feasibility of preparing additive manufactured porous stainless steel felts with mathematical micro pore structure as novel catalyst support for hydrogen production via methanol steam reforming
In this paper, an additive manufacturing prepared porous stainless steel felt (AM-PSSF) is proposed as a novel catalyst support for hydrogen production via methanol steam reforming (MSR). In the method, 316 L stainless steel powder with diameter of 15-63 mu m is processed by the additive manufacturing technology of selective laser melting (SLM). To accomplish the preparation, the reforming chamber where the AM-PSSF is embedded is firstly divided into an all-hexahedron mesh. Then, the triply periodic minimal surface (TPMS) unit with mathematical form, high interconnectivity and large specific surface area is mapped into the hexahedrons based on shape function, forming the fully connected three-dimensional (3D) micro pore structure of the AM-PSSF. By correlating the mathematical parameter and the porosity of the TPMS unit, and taking into account the SLM process, the porosity of the AM-PSSF is well controlled. Based on the designed 3D pore structure model, the AM-PSSF is produced using standard SLM process. The application of the AM-PSSF as catalyst support for hydrogen production through MSR indicates that: 1) both the naked and catalyst-coated AM-PSSF have the characteristics of high porosity, large specific surface area and high connectivity; 2) the MSR hydrogen production performance of the AM-PSSF is better than that of the commercial stainless steel fiber sintered felt. The feasibility of AM-PSSF as catalyst support for MSR hydrogen production may pave a better way to balance different requirements for catalyst support, thanks to the excellent controllability provided by AM on both the external shape and the internal pore structure, and to the produced rough surface morphology that benefits the catalyst adhesion strength. In addition, catalyst support with pore structures that are more accommodated with the flow field and the reaction rate of MSR reaction may be prepared in future, since the entire catalyst support structure, from macro scale to micro scale, is under control. (C) 2019 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.