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Catalytic Partial Oxidation of Bioethanol for Mobile Fuel Cell Applications

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Title: Catalytic Partial Oxidation of Bioethanol for Mobile Fuel Cell Applications
Author: Arku, Precious
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Dutta, Animesh
Abstract: The work presented in this thesis explores the production of synthesis gas in solid oxide fuel cell reformers from bioethanol. The catalytic partial oxidation (CPOX) of bioethanol was considered the most ideal method for mobile applications because of its sustainable nature and low energy requirements. Carbon deposition in the catalyst bed is the most significant challenge faced in CPOX. This study thus includes a numerical simulation that elucidates the effect of carbon on the bed properties that determine heat and mass transfer. It was discovered that the presence of carbon lowered the thermal conductivity, porosity, and permeability of the catalyst bed, thus reducing the rate of heat and mass transfer, and consequently, reaction rate. The promotion effects of magnesium and ruthenium on alumina supported-nickel catalysts were studied and it was discovered that the primary cause of catalyst deactivation was carbon buildup rather than morphological changes in the spent catalyst.
Date: 2018-08
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