Catalytic Membrane Reactor for the Production of Hydrogen From Butanol

Period of Performance: 10/21/2011 - 10/21/2012


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Innovatek, Inc.
3100 George Washington Way
Richland, WA 99354
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Indiana University
509 E 3RD ST
Bloomington, IN 47401
Institution POC


A compact and efficient fuel processor that provides clean hydrogen from a high energy density liquid fuel such as butanol will allow fuel cell technology to be realized in military and commercial markets for portable applications. InnovaTek, and its proposal partner Indiana - Purdue University, will build on their combined experience in catalytic reforming to develop catalysts that are optimized for a micro structured membrane reactor that converts butanol to hydrogen for use by a PEM fuel cell to generate electricity. A proprietary partial oxidation catalyst that resists sintering and coking will be developed to assure a long lifetime for the reactor. InnovaTek s fuel reformer will be designed using hydrogen-permeable membrane technology developed in collaboration with Pall Corporation to offer unique characteristics, including compactness, extremely efficient heat transfer, and sufficient hydrogen purity for a PEM fuel cell. The Phase II goal is to integrate the butanol reformer reactor, catalyst and membrane separation components into a single well-designed functional unit with all balance of plant components capable of demonstrating maintenance-free hydrogen generation for more than 500 hrs with an energy density of 3 kWhr/kg.