A Compact Membrane Reactor Methanol Reformer

Period of Performance: 08/27/2008 - 08/27/2009

$743K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Array
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Colorado School of Mines
1500 Illinois St
Golden, CO 80401
Institution POC

Abstract

Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells require a relatively pure, concentrated hydrogen stream, with very low levels of carbon monoxide (CO) in order to prevent poisoning of the fuel cell anode catalyst. In addition, removing inerts and impurities (such as CO2) from the hydrogen feed to the fuel cell increases a fuel cell s electrical conversion efficiency. TDA Research, Inc. (TDA), in collaboration with the Colorado School of Mines proposes to develop a compact membrane reactor-reformer that converts a methanol feed into a high purity hydrogen fuel that could be readily used by a 20 W PEM fuel cell. In the Phase II project, we will develop a thin film membrane and an effective catalyst to demonstrate the operation of an integrated membrane reactor-methanol reformer in a breadboard system. We will also carry out a preliminary design of the overall fuel processor to produce the required hydrogen flow rate to run a 20 We PEM fuel cell.