The Schwank Group

-New Methods for Spent Catalyst Regeneration-

Steven Edmund and Johannes Schwank

TGA of irradiated sample

Figure 1: Catalyst weight loss post-irradiation;
More carbon is present on the non-irradiated sample.

Portable Fuel Cell Power Generation

Figure 2: Use of a reformer provides flexible fuel
options for portable fuel cell power generation.

Increasingly a variety of feedstock's are being explored to supply our future energy needs. Converting a variety of fuels, particularly those from renewable sources, to electricity is appealing both environmentally and economically, but is not without challenges. Reforming catalysts used to convert hydrocarbons such as gasoline of biodiesel into syngas suffer substantially from carbon deactivation. The problems of catalyst deactivation are even more pronounced when biomass is used as the composition of the reformer feed can drastically change over time.

Looking to provide consistent reformer performance over long times while utilizing a variety of feedstock's, present research is focused on the regeneration of catalysts using non-ionizing radiation. It has been shown that irradiation of carbon coated catalysts results in the removal of detrimental carbon from the surface. We seek to understand the radiation-catalyst interactions that drive the removal of carbon deposits and the operating conditions that will allow implementation of reformers in future vehicles with auxiliary power units.

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