Diesel Plasma Reformer
Small Business Information
Fuelcell Energy, Inc.
3 Great Pasture Road, Danbury, CT, 06813
Abstract78150B The catalytic reforming of diesel fuel in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) systems must overcome a number of challenging issues: (1) the deactivation of the catalyst by sintering and sulfur poising; (2) the requirement for a large fuel processing system as a result of high space velocity requirements; and (3) the lack of durability of the catalysts, which require frequent replacement due to "coking," the coverage of active sites by carbon. This project will use a non-catalytic plasma technology for the simultaneous reforming and hydrodesulfurization of diesel. The silent discharge (non-thermal) plasma technology is anticipated to result in compact, reliable, and cost effective diesel fuel processing for SOFC power generation systems. Phase I will develop a clear understanding of the plasma chemistry for diesel fuel reforming. Parametric tests of a model fuel will be conducted to study the effect of operating conditions on fuel conversion. The plasma reformer will be integrated into the SOFC system and computer simulations will be used to design a 1-5 kW APU power plant configuration. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The plasma reforming technology should simplify the fuel processing section for diesel and military logistic fuels in high-temperature-fuel-cell-power generation applications. The system should provide a means for fuel cells to power auxiliary power units on trucks as well as military vehicles using fuel feeds containing sulfur. This system could be used in a wide range of both military and civilian applications including auxiliary power units for overnight trucker sleeper cabs, recreational vehicles, ship service fuel cell system, and other remote power generation applications.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.