A mathematic model of steam reforming of methanol in a microchannel reactor is presented. The effects of two parameters on the performance of microchannel methanol reformers have been investigated by the mathematical model, such as the thickness of catalyst coatings and the size of microchannels. Results indicate that the near-isothermal operation can be achieved due to the high coefficients of mass and heat transfer in microchannels. It has been found that significant volume and weight reduction is possible by using microchannel reactors attributed to the negligible heat and mass transfer limitations in catalyst coatings. The microchannel type reactor with thin catalyst coating is favorable for a low CO concentration level. Based on the calculation results, a microchannel reactor has been designed and developed by the methods of electric spark processing, diffusion bonding, and coating. The experimental results show that the developed microchannel reactor could generate enough hydrogen for power output of 11 W.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work described in this paper has been carried out with the financial support of the Swedish Research Links Programme and the China Natural Science Foundation (contract No. 20606011), for which due acknowledgement is given.
- Fuel cell
- Microchannel reactor
- Steam reforming