(444a) Catalytic and Technological Aspects of Reforming Methanol to Electricity inside a Fuel Cell

Authors: 
Avgouropoulos, G., University of Patras


The complexity of the balance of plant of a fuel cell-fuel processor unit challenges the design and development of compact and user friendly fuel cell systems. Many of these drawbacks could be alleviated by incorporation of a methanol reforming catalyst into the anodic compartment (bi-functional anode) of a high-temperature, polymer electrolyte fuel cell (HT-PEMFC), so that methanol reforming takes place inside the fuel cell stack (internal reforming). The development of an internal reforming methanol fuel cell (IRMFC) poses an ambitious technological and research challenge, which requires the effective combination of various technological approaches as regards materials development, chemical reaction engineering and stack design. It aims at opening new scientific and engineering prospects, which may allow easier penetration of the fuel cell system in the energy market. This paper particularly emphasizes catalytic and technological aspects of the methanol reformer and the IRMFC unit and reports on recent progress from laboratory prototypes.

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