Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-01-1918
2001-05-07

An Analysis of Hydrogen Production from FT Liquids for use in Fuel-Cell Systems 2001-01-1918

Synthetic saturated hydrocarbons produced from Fischer-Tropsch (FT) processes offer potential significant advantages as fuels for fuel cell engines. Additionally, FT synthetic fuels, unlike petroleum-derived liquid fuels, are produced absent of sulfur or metals. Elimination of fuel clean-up processes to remove these threats to fuel cell systems offers the potential of significant capital and operational savings. Additionally, the flexibility of synthetic fuel production offers the potential for optimization of synthetic fuel-cell fuels for use in fuel processors.
To better assess the hydrogen carrying capacity and reformability of saturated FT fuels in a fuel cell system under development for commercial applications, IdaTech tested four synthetic fuels provided by Syntroleum, including synthetic naphtha (FC-2), synthetic diesel (S-2), synthetic light oil (S-1) and synthetic blend (S-5). Methanol was used as the comparison case because this alternative fuel is being seriously considered for use in fuel cell vehicles. All tests were conducted using a fully integrated IdaTech™ fuel processor (incorporating hydrogen purification) and rated to deliver up to 40 sLm product hydrogen. Test results show consistent high yields of hydrogen from all FT liquid fuels.

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