Technology for large scale catalytic hydrogen generation from hydrocarbons is quite mature and most reactors are of the fixed catalyst bed-type operated in a steady-state, continuous-flow (CF) regime. However, simple miniaturization of these reactors for portable and distributed applications has proven difficult because of 1) the poor process scale-down, 2) sequential uni-functional design not suitable for miniaturization and system integration, and 3) poor reaction yields due to fundamental mismatch between the time scales of the catalytic chemistry and the transport processes. To address these concerns, we have developed a novel reactor concept which is well suited to be an integral part of onboard fuel processing for the next generation of automobile power plants (or any other small-scale distributed application).

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