Gas Phase Sulfur Sensor for JP-8 Fueled Auxiliary Power Generation System

Period of Performance: 11/02/2009 - 01/07/2011

$120K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nextech Materials, Ltd.
404 Enterprise Drive Array
Lewis Center, OH 43035
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Demand for fuel-efficient and reliable electrical power is escalating within the U.S. military. Fuel cells, which provide compact, efficient and energy-dense power, could find immediate application as portable battery chargers, auxiliary power units for silent-watch missions, and primary power for unmanned vehicles. For successful implementation of fuel cells operating on JP-8 logistics fuel, sensors must be developed to continuously monitor sulfur levels in the reformed fuel stream and protect the fuel cell stack from sulfur poisoning. Hydrogen sulfide sensors are commercially available, but they operate in ambient air and at temperatures much lower than those of fuel cell applications. NexTech Materials has established a unique ceramic materials technology platform for detecting H2S concentrations at ppb levels in reducing gas streams. In this project, NexTech will adapt its H2S sensor technology to gas-phase sensing of H2S and COS in reformed JP-8 fuels. Phase I efforts will focus on optimizing and demonstrating the H2S sensor technology for monitoring reformed JP-8 fuel streams, derived from different fuel processing approaches. Promising sensor formulations will be further evaluated against key application requirements. In a Phase I Option, a sensor prototype will be designed and developed for system-level demonstration in Phase II.