Catalytic autothermal reforming (ATR) is one promising technology to effectively produce hydrogen and syngas from heavy hydrocarbon fuels for fuel cell applications. The present study describes the development of a cylindrical 1.5 kWe scale autothermal reformer for on-board SOFCs. NiO-Rh bimetallic catalysts supported on 400 cpsi cordierite monoliths were experimentally examined in the reformer. Promoters including cerium, potassium and lanthanum were introduced in the catalysts preparation to improve their performance. Dodecane (C12H26) was used as a surrogate for desulfurized commercial Jet-A fuel (C11.6H22.3) to study the hydrogen selectivity and efficiency of ATR reactions with different catalysts. Gas chromatography (GC) equipped with TCD detector was used to monitor the concentration of H2, CO, CO2 and N2 in the reformate. The catalysts screening tests were performed at the same operation conditions including inlet temperatures, reactor temperature, steam to carbon ratio and oxygen to carbon ratio. The best catalyst was reported to have efficiency about 85 percent. The optimized reactor operation temperature was reported as 700 °C.

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