The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that 5% of air pollutants originate from small internal combustion engines (ICE) used in non-automotive applications. While there have been significant advances towards developing more sustainable systems to replace large ICEs, few designs have been implemented with the capability to replace small ICEs such as those used in the residential sector for lawn and garden equipment. Replacing these small residential internal combustion engines presents a unique opportunity for early market penetration of fuel cell technologies. This paper describes the initial efforts to build an innovative residential-scale fuel cell system using propane as its fuel source, and the deployment of this technology in a commonly used device found throughout the U.S. There are three main components to this program, including the development of the propane reforming system, fuel cell operation, and the overall system integration. This paper presents the reforming results of propane catalytic partial oxidation (cPOx). The primary parameters used to evaluate the reformer in this experiment were reformate composition, carbon concentration in the effluent, and reforming efficiency as a function of catalyst temperature and O2/C ratio. When including the lower heating value (LHV) for product hydrogen and carbon monoxide, maximum efficiencies of 84% were achieved at an O2/C ratio of 0.53 and a temperature of 940°C. Significant solid carbon formation was observed at catalyst temperatures below 750°C.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.