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Low Temperature Methane Steam Reforming for Hydrogen Production for Fuel Cells

  • Roh, Hyun-Seog (Department of Environmental Engineering, Yonsei University) ;
  • Jun, Ki-Won (Alternative Chemicals/Fuel Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT))
  • Published : 2009.01.20

Abstract

Low temperature methane steam reforming to produce $H_2$ for fuel cells has been calculated thermodynamically considering both heat loss of the reformer and unreacted $H_2$ in fuel cell stack. According to the thermodynamic equilibrium analysis, it is possible to operate methane steam reforming at low temperatures. A scheme for the low temperature methane steam reforming to produce $H_2$ for fuel cells by burning both unconverted $CH_4$ and $H_2$ to supply the heat for steam methane reforming has been proposed. The calculated value of the heat balance temperature is strongly dependent upon the amount of unreacted $H_2$ and heat loss of the reformer. If unreacted $H_2$ increases, less methane is required because unreacted $H_2$ can be burned to supply the heat. As a consequence, it is suitable to increase the reaction temperature for getting higher $CH_4$ conversion and more $H_2$ for fuel cell stack. If heat loss increases from the reformer, it is necessary to supply more heat for the endothermic methane steam reforming reaction from burning unconverted $CH_4$, resulting in decreasing the reforming temperature. Experimentally, it has been confirmed that low temperature methane steam reforming is possible with stable activity.

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