1990-02-01

Methanol Decomposition Through Rich Oxidation in a Self-Ignited Catalytic Reactor 900582

The production of hydrogen and carbon monoxide by decomposing methanol in a self-igniting oxidation catalyst was briefly investigated as a possible cold starting method for methanol-fueled vehicles. A theoretical analysis of the two most likely reactions of oxidation-plus-dissociation and oxidation-plus-reformation indicate that both paths are limited to a production of two moles of hydrogen per mole of methanol oxidized. The energy released from the methanol oxidation appears to be sufficient to achieve this limit. Hydrogen yields of 15 to 26 volume percent were observed from a test reactor. Up to an equivalence ratio near three, the observed decomposition products compared favorably with the theoretical curves. An engine was started on the decomposition products.

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