Development of an Onboard Fuel Processor for PEM Fuel Cell Vehicles 2004-01-1473
Reduction of pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions is one of the main objectives of car manufacturers and innovative solutions have to be considered to achieve this goal. Electric vehicles, and in particular Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, appear to be a promising alternative. Renault is therefore investigating the technical and economic viability of a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV). A basic question of this study is the choice of the fuel that will be used for this kind of vehicle. Liquid fuels such as gasoline, diesel, naphtha, and gas-to-liquid can be a bridge for the introduction of fuel cell technologies while hydrogen infrastructure and storage are investigated. Therefore, multi-fuel Fuel Processor Systems that can convert liquid fuels to hydrogen while meeting automotive constraints are desired. Renault and Nuvera have joined forces to tackle this issue in a 3-year program where the objective is to develop and to integrate a Fuel Processor System (FPS) on a vehicle.
This paper presents progress in the FPS development and its integration in a vehicle power plant. This PEM fuel cell power plant is being developed by Renault and will contain a FPS developed by Nuvera. The program goal is to meet vehicle requirements including high efficiency, low emissions, low cost, and long driving range. To date, a 75 liter fuel processor has shown operation up to 200 kWth on gasoline with 78% hydrogen efficiency and CO under 100 ppm.