On-board Hydrogen Generation for PEM Fuel Cells in Automotive Applications 1999-01-1320
In the search for clean and efficient power, PEM fuel cells have been identified as the technology that can meet our future needs for transport applications. Hydrogen-powered PEM fuel cell vehicles are perceived to give the ultimate advantage, but the complications involved with hydrogen storage and refuelling, as well as the lack of infrastructure call for a different solution. In the near term, this is almost certain to be the on-board generation of hydrogen from a readily available fuel.
At Johnson Matthey, a novel modular reformer (HotSpot™) has been developed for methanol, and has been demonstrated to have many of the qualities that are required for automotive applications. Auxiliary technologies for CO removal (Demonox) and aftertreatment have also been developed, and integrated with the reformer to form 20 kWe processor, which is currently undergoing brass-board testing. Although not designed for multi-fuel operation, HotSpot is versatile, and can be adapted for other fuels apart from methanol. A 5 kWe natural-gas processor has recently been demons-trated, in tests that have included successful coupling with a PEM fuel cell.