Applications include power supplies for small appliances and laptop computers, and on-site rechargers for battery packs used by the military.
"The catalytic reforming of hydrocarbon fuels offers a nice solution to supplying hydrogen to fuel cells while avoiding safety and storage issues related to gaseous hydrogen," said Paul Kenis, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Illinois and corresponding author of a paper accepted for publication in the journal Lab on a Chip, and posted on its Web site.
In previous work, Kenis and colleagues developed an integrated catalyst structure and placed it inside a stainless steel housing, where it successfully stripped hydrogen from ammonia at temperatures up to 500 degrees Celsius.
In their latest work, the researchers incorporated the catalyst structure within a ceramic housing, which enabled the steam reforming of propane at operating temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. Using the new ceramic housing, the researchers also demonstrated the successful decomposition of ammonia at temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. High-temperature operation is essential for peak performance in microreactors, said Kenis, who also is a researcher at the university's Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. When reforming hydrocarbons such as propane, temperatures above 800 degrees Celsius prevent the formation of soot that can foul the catalyst surface and reduce performance.
"The performance of our integrated, high-temperature microreactors surpasses that of other fuel reformer systems," Kenis said. "Our microreactors are superior in both hydrogen production and in long-term stability." Kenis and his group are now attempting to reform other, higher hydrocarbon fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, which have well-developed distribution networks around the world.
James E. Kloeppel | EurekAlert!
Silicon solar cell of ISFH yields 25% efficiency with passivating POLO contacts
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
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