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Title: Onboard Plasmatron Hydrogen Production for Improved Vehicles

A plasmatron fuel reformer has been developed for onboard hydrogen generation for vehicular applications. These applications include hydrogen addition to spark-ignition internal combustion engines, NOx trap and diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration, and emissions reduction from spark ignition internal combustion engines First, a thermal plasmatron fuel reformer was developed. This plasmatron used an electric arc with relatively high power to reform fuels such as gasoline, diesel and biofuels at an oxygen to carbon ratio close to 1. The draw back of this device was that it has a high electric consumption and limited electrode lifetime due to the high temperature electric arc. A second generation plasmatron fuel reformer was developed. It used a low-current high-voltage electric discharge with a completely new electrode continuation. This design uses two cylindrical electrodes with a rotating discharge that produced low temperature volumetric cold plasma., The lifetime of the electrodes was no longer an issue and the device was tested on several fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and biofuels at different flow rates and different oxygen to carbon ratios. Hydrogen concentration and yields were measured for both the thermal and non-thermal plasmatron reformers for homogeneous (non-catalytic) and catalytic reforming of several fuels. The technology wasmore » licensed to an industrial auto part supplier (ArvinMeritor) and is being implemented for some of the applications listed above. The Plasmatron reformer has been successfully tested on a bus for NOx trap regeneration. The successful development of the plasmatron reformer and its implementation in commercial applications including transportation will bring several benefits to the nation. These benefits include the reduction of NOx emissions, improving engine efficiency and reducing the nation's oil consumption. The objective of this program has been to develop attractive applications of plasmatron fuel reformer technology for onboard applications in internal combustion engine vehicles using diesel, gasoline and biofuels. This included the reduction of NOx and particulate matter emissions from diesel engines using plasmatron reformer generated hydrogen-rich gas, conversion of ethanol and bio-oils into hydrogen rich gas, and the development of new concepts for the use of plasmatron fuel reformers for enablement of HCCI engines.« less
Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
902082
DOE Contract Number:
AC26-99EE50565
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Massachusetts Inst Of Tech
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; 08 HYDROGEN; 33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; BIOFUELS; CARBON; CATALYTIC REFORMING; DIESEL ENGINES; ELECTRIC ARCS; ELECTRIC DISCHARGES; ELECTRODES; ENGINES; ETHANOL; FLOW RATE; GASOLINE; HYDROGEN; HYDROGEN ADDITIONS; HYDROGEN PRODUCTION; IGNITION; INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES; LIFETIME; OXYGEN; PARTICULATES; PLASMATRONS; REGENERATION