Oxygen-Enriched Fuel Reforming of Heavy Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels for Fuel Cells
The effect of oxygen-enriched catalytic reforming of heavy liquid hydrocarbon fuels has been theoretically and experimentally investigated. The objective of this research is to analyze the reactions, reaction products, and reformer and system level effects from oxygen enriched reforming of heavy hydrocarbon fuels (JP-8). To achieve the objective of this dissertation analytical modeling was employed to develop a theoretical basis for experimental work; a research grade experimental apparatus was designed, constructed, and tested; via experimentation, a JP-8 surrogate fuel was developed; and autothermal reformer performance was characterized with air and enriched oxygen under various operating scenarios. Notable contributions of this work were: good carbon conversion (~100%) and hydrogen yield can be achieved in autothermal reforming of heavy liquid hydrocarbon fuels; the development of a JP-8 surrogate fuel through experimental evaluation of the major hydrocarbon chemical classes present in JP-8: n-paraffin, cyclo-paraffin and mono-aromatics; a detailed study of the influence of each chemical class was evaluated under broad operating conditions and the contribution of each along with synergistic effects in mixtures was studied and contrasted with a target JP-8 fuel; oxygen enriched reforming of the surrogate fuel under varying oxygen concentration, fuel flows, and oxygen-to-carbon ratios was experimentally evaluated; and the influence of oxygen enriched reforming on the fuel cell system was analyzed.Oxygen enrichment is shown to allow for independent control of both reactor space time and the oxygen-to-carbon ratio during autothermal reforming. This allows for much better control over the reformer and allows for significant gains in reformer through-put without negative impacts to reformer performance. Additionally, the use of oxygen enriched reforming is shown to result in enhanced reformer performance and also enhanced fuel cell stack performance due to greatly increased hydrogen concentration in the reformate.
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