(589d) Autothermal Hydrogen Production From Isobutanol for Fuel Cells

Chakrabarti, R. - Presenter, University of Minnesota
Kruger, J. S. - Presenter, University of Minnesota
Schmidt, L. - Presenter, University of Minnesota

We demonstrate a process which converts isobutanol, a fermentation product of lignocellulosic biomass, to a high selectivity hydrogen stream for fuel cells by autothermal reforming. We use staged reactor configuration, with a Rh-Ce/Al2O3 catalyst used to produce a high selectivity syngas stream by partial oxidation and reforming, and an additional Pt-Ce/Al2O3 catalyst to consume CO by the water gas shift reaction (WGS). The Rh-Ce/Al2O3 catalyst showed high conversion of isobutanol resulting in a product stream consisting mostly of CO, CO2, H2 and H2O. These products react further on the Pt-Ce/Al2O3 catalyst. The effect of steam addition to further lower the concentration of CO by promoting WGS has also been investigated. Thermodynamic calculations were performed to optimize the feed compositions and the amount of steam added to obtain a product stream containing minimal amounts of CO for use in a fuel cell.