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Title: A review of recent advances of numerical simulations of microscale fuel processors for hydrogen production

Microscale (<5W) reformers for hydrogen production have been investigated for over a decade. These devices are intended to provide hydrogen for small fuel cells. Due to the reformer’s small size, numerical simulations are critical to understand heat and mass transfer phenomena occurring in the systems. This paper reviews the development of the numerical codes and details the reaction equations used. The majority of the devices utilized methanol as the fuel due to methanol’s low reforming temperature and high conversion, although, there are several methane fueled systems. As computational power has decreased in cost and increased in availability, the codes increased in complexity and accuracy. Initial models focused on the reformer, while more recently, the simulations began including other unit operations such as vaporizers, inlet manifolds, and combustors. These codes are critical for developing the next generation systems. The systems reviewed included, plate reactors, microchannel reactors, annulus reactors, wash-coated, packed bed systems.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Power Sources, 282:602-621
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
microchannel; reformers; fuel scale; hydrogen production