MINIATURE HYDROGEN GENERATOR.
Quarterly rept. no. 4, 1 Jun 65-30 May 66, (final).
UNION CARBIDE CORP PARMA OHIO
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Pertinent engineering considerations are analyzed with regard to the feasibility of construction of miniature hydrogen generators using field-available fuels in processes such as high and low pressure steam reforming, high and low pressure partial oxidation and thermal cracking. The thermal cracking approach appears to be the best choice for systems in the size range of interest, that needed to supply hydrogen for 10 to 200 watt fuel cells. Experimental studies with both electrically heated tube furnaces and fuel-fired reactors have established the feasibility of the thermal cracking concept using either JP-4 or combat gasoline. Hydrogen concentrations in the product gas ranged from 80 to 95 at temperatures from 1050 to 1200C. Methane was the only detectable diluent at these temperatures. Sulfur compounds, arising from the sulfur in the feed stocks, were completely removed by a simple steel wool filter-scavenger pad in the reactor. Operation of alkaline electrolyte fuel cells on this product showed no deleterious effects. A variety of baffle geometries were tested to establish design fundamentals in terms of the optimum use of the reactor volume before plugging occurred due to the carbon accumulation and to optimize the product composition. Nickel and Inconel were established as suitable materials of construction. Preliminary efforts at burner development have led to a comparatively quiet, simple unit. A suggested design for a laboratory prototype system is presented. Author
- Electric Power Production and Distribution