International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.45, No.4, 6163-6173, 2021
A methanol fuel processing system with methanol steam reforming and CO selective methanation modules for PEMFC application
Methanol steam reforming can convert methanol solution into hydrogen rich steam, which can be used to supply for the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The carbon monoxide (CO) in the produced hydrogen rich steam will be poison to the PEMFC and limits the application of this technic. This study develops a new methanol fuel processing system (MFPS) with incorporated methanol steam reforming and CO selective methanation modules for production of hydrogen rich steam with a low concentration of CO, and used to directly supply for the PEMFC. The core component of the MFPS is a highly layer-packed microreactor, wherein methanol steam reforming, methanol combustion, and CO selective methanation reactions can occur. For the developed MFPS, an optimized methanol supply strategy is proposed to startup the MFPS, the fastest startup time is about 15.8 minutes. Experimental tests showed that the MFPS can be continuously operated for more than 100 hours with CO concentration below 10 ppm. The produced hydrogen rich steam was directly supplied for a PEMFC to generate 100 W electricity. Results obtained in this study demonstrated that the developed MFPS can produce CO-free hydrogen rich stream for the supply of PEMFC, the generated electricity can be used to power mobile device and/or electronics.