Steam and partial oxidation reforming options for hydrogen production from fossil fuels for PEM fuel cells

Article English OPEN
Yousri M.A. Welaya ; Mohamed M. El Gohary ; Nader R. Ammar (2012)
  • Publisher: Elsevier
  • Journal: Alexandria Engineering Journal, volume 51, issue 2, pages 69-75 (issn: 1110-0168)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1016/j.aej.2012.03.001
  • Subject: TA1-2040 | Engineering(all) | Steam reforming | Partial oxidation | Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) | PEMFC | Hydrogen production

Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEM) generates electrical power from air and from hydrogen or hydrogen rich gas mixtures. Therefore, there is an increasing interest in converting current hydrocarbon based marine fuels such as natural gas, gasoline, and diesel into hydrogen rich gases acceptable to the PEM fuel cells on board ships. Using chemical flow sheeting software, the total system efficiency has been calculated. Natural gas appears to be the best fuel for hydrogen rich gas production due to its favorable composition of lower molecular weight compounds. This paper presents a study for a 250 kW net electrical power PEM fuel cell system utilizing a partial oxidation in one case study and steam reformers in the second. This study has shown that steam-reforming process is the most competitive fuel processing option in terms of fuel processing efficiency. Partial oxidation process has proved to posses the lowest fuel processing efficiency. Among the options studied, the highest fuel processing efficiency is achieved with natural gas steam reforming system.
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