As an aid to improving the dynamic response of the steam reformer, a dynamic model is developed to provide preliminary characterizations of the major constraints that limit the ability of a reformer to respond to the varying output requirements occurring in vehicular applications. This model is a first principles model that identifies important physical parameters in the steam reformer. The model is then incorporated into a design optimization process, where minimum steam reformer response time is specified as the objective function. This tool is shown to have the potential to be a powerful means of determining the values of the steam reformer design parameters that yield the fastest response time to a step input in hydrogen demand for a given set of initial conditions. A more extensive application of this methodology, yielding steam reformer design recommendations, is contained in a related publication.

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