Integration of an E85 Reforming System into a Vehicle-Ready Package and Project Results
Ethanol can be converted into a 1:1:1 mixture of H2, CO, and CH4 at 300°C using a copper-nickel catalyst, a process known as “low-temperature ethanol reforming.” The hydrogen content of this mixture enables an engine to operate lean or with high levels of EGR, improving fuel economy and emissions. An onboard ethanol reformer- a catalyst module providing heat exchange with exhaust-was recently reported and shown to exhibit stable high conversion of ethanol driven by exhaust heat. This paper describes the successful integration and operation of a Ford 3.5L 3 TiVCT flex-fuel engine with a compact reformer and auxiliary hardware, fueled by E85. The system constitutes an integrated power system suitable for vehicle integration. The engine was operated on a mixture of E85 and reformate using a stoichiometric air-fuel ratio with internal EGR at a 12:1 compression ratio.