Solar-Thermal Highly Conversion Efficiency Steam-Methanol Reformer with Nanocatalyst

Ming-Tsang Lee
National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan

Keywords: Solar energy, Nanotechnology, Hydrogen

The presented study is focused on the analysis and development of a high efficiency nanocatalytic solarthermal steam-methanol reformer that utilizes capillary force to deliver (self-pump and control) the fuel (methanol and water mixture). The solar reformer converts and stores solar energy, via fuel reforming reactions, in the format of chemical energy (hydrogen). In addition, water is a significant source of the hydrogen gas that produced from reformers. The solar reformer is thus an effective way of generating energy from renewable resources. In the reformer section an essential consideration is the surface between the catalytic layer and the reactants and it is noted that a desirable morphology and structure is compatible with a nanoporous catalyst. One of the specific aims of this proposal is to attain higher conversion efficiencies as well as lower reforming temperatures using a modified nanoporous catalyst that attains heat efficiently from solar energy to convert hydrocarbons to hydrogen. Theoretical analysis and preliminary measurement will be conducted to understand the mechanisms of interactions between solar light and the heterogenous nanocatalytic matrix. Catalytic matrix that effectively converts solar energy to produce hydrogen will then be integrated into microchannel reactors.

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