Reformer for Conversion of Diesel Fuel into CO and Hydrogen

Period of Performance: 01/01/2005 - 12/31/2005


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Eltron Research, Inc.
4600 Nautilus Court South
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


79446S Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) have been identified for use as auxiliary electric power supplies for diesel vehicles. This will require the development of reformers for converting diesel fuel into a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which then can be consumed in the SOFC. In this project, a catalytic converter will be designed to react commercial diesel fuel with oxygen and steam. Special refractory catalysts, which can withstand reactor temperatures up to 1273 K and sulfur concentration in the diesel fuel feed of 50 ppmv, will be developed. In Phase I, refractory oxides with a perovskite crystal structure will be synthesized and dispersed onto refractory oxide supports designed for compatibility with high concentrations of sulfur. Commercial-grade diesel fuel, steam, and oxygen will be fed into the reactor, and the amount of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and methane exiting the reactor will be quantified using gas chromatography. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The catalytic conversion technology should be applicable to both commercial and military diesel vehicles. The U.S. military would likely provide the largest market for such devices. A market for diesel fuel reformers could materialize from producers of solid oxide fuel cells.