Evaluation of Hydrated Ethanol in an Advanced Fuel Processor for Fuel Cell Vehicles 971646
Industrial grade ethanol, in concentrations ranging from 130 proof to 200 proof, can be used as a feedstock for a 50kWe advanced fuel processor developed by Arthur D. Little, Inc. for fuel cell vehicles. At 180 proof concentration, hydrated ethanol showed no performance degradation compared with both 200 proof (pure) ethanol and E95 (95% ethanol and 5% gasoline) at equivalence ratios ranging from 3.0 to 4.0. Environmental benefits associated with the use of ethanol in fuel cell power systems include its production from renewable biological sources, low toxicity in the event of an accidental spill, and recycling of carbon dioxide released by the process back to the plant matter used as ethanol feedstock. Cost savings associated with the use of hydrated ethanol are expected to include lower production costs, lower distribution costs, and lower powerplant costs due to the possibility of system simplification.