© 2017 Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This paper presents a numerical and experimental study on the performance of a methanol steam reformer integrated with a hydrogen/air combustion reactor for hydrogen production. A CFD-based 3D model with mass and momentum transport and temperature characteristics is established. The simulation results show that better performance is achieved in the cross-U type reactor compared to either a tubular reactor or a parallel-U type reactor because of more effective heat transfer characteristics. Furthermore, Cu-based micro reformers of both cross-U and parallel-U type reactors are designed, fabricated and tested for experimental validation. Under the same condition for reforming and combustion, the results demonstrate that higher methanol conversion is achievable in cross-U type reactor. However, it is also found in cross-U type reactor that methanol reforming selectivity is the lowest due to the decreased water gas shift reaction under high temperature, thereby carbon monoxide concentration is increased. Furthermore, the reformed gas generated from the reactors is fed into a high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). In the test of discharging for 4 h, the fuel cell fed by cross-U type reactor exhibits the most stable performance.
Zhang, S., Zhang, Y., Chen, J., Zhang, X., & Liu, X. (2017). High yields of hydrogen production from methanol steam reforming with a cross-U type reactor. PLoS ONE, 12(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187802