International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.44, No.43, 23983-23995, 2019
Preparing a novel gradient porous metal fiber sintered felt with better manufacturability for hydrogen production via methanol steam reforming
The porous copper fiber sintered felts with gradient porosity structure (gradient PCFSFs) as catalyst supports is beneficial for heat and mass transfer for methanol steam reforming (MSR). However, the previously developed gradient PCFSF based on the velocity distribution introduces curved interface between different porosity portions, making the mold pressing method for its preparation more sensitive to tiny process changes. To improve its manufacturability, a novel gradient PCFSF with planar interface (PCFSF-SLR) is proposed in this paper by fabrication with multi-step mold pressing and solid phase sintering method using cutting copper fibers. Furthermore, MSR experiments under different gas hourly space velocities and reaction temperatures are conducted to verify the characteristics of PCFSF-SLR loaded with Cu/Zn/Al/Zr catalyst. The results have shown that the reaction characteristics of the PCFSF-SLR were similar to those with curved interfaces, and PCFSF-SLRs with a middle portion porosity of 0.9 have better hydrogen production performance and lower carbon monoxide concentration. More importantly, the results indicated that the methanol conversion and hydrogen flow rate of the gradient PCFSF with planar interface and porosity of 0.7-0.9-0.8 were close or even almost the same with that of the best gradient PCFSFs with curved interface and porosities of 0.7-0.9-0.8 and 0.8-0.9-0.7. Therefore, the proposed PCFSF-SLR provides a superior alternative to gradient PCFSFs with better manufacturability. (C) 2019 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.