PITA Fiscal Year 2008 Projects - Product and Process Design and Optimization

Design of Evaporative Micro-channel Reactor for APCI De-hydrogenation Process

Principal Investigators: S. C. Yao Myung Jhon

Liquid carriers have been considered as the most advanced media for hydrogen absorption, transportation and releases in the applications of automotive fuel cell systems. In this project, we will design the compact reactors for the releasing of hydrogen from liquid carrier in vehicles. In this design, the advantages of micro channel reactors in terms of high release rate of hydrogen, compact size, and dynamic response will be demonstrated. At the same time, the severe difficulty of flow instabilities in such a system shall be resolved.

This project takes advantage of the CMU experience of micro channel heat exchanger research for the cooling of electronic IC chips, previously supported by PITA. Active collaboration with Air Products and Chemical Inc. at Allentown, PA will be maintained through their internal project partially funded by DOE.

Micro channel reactor has large surface areas to promote the catalytic reactions within very compact overall dimensions. In this project, the transportation of species in the fluids of micro channel reactor, the catalytic reaction at surfaces, the hydrogen generations, the two phase flow phenomena, and the designs lead to the minimization of instabilities will be analyzed and modeled. Design guidelines and optimal designs will be established.