(95c) Plasma Reforming of E85 for Hydrogen Rich Gases Production

Mallinson, R., University of Oklahoma
Zhu, X., Center for Biomass Refining, University of Oklahoma
Hoang, T., Center for Biomass Refining, University of Oklahoma
Lobban, L. L., Center for Biomass Refining, University of Oklahoma

E85 (85 vol.% ethanol and 15 vol.% gasoline) is a partly renewable fuel, which is commercially available in gas stations. Hydrogen rich gas production from E85 for fuel cell or internal combustion engine applications is being considered as a potential way to reduce CO2 emissions with increasing interest. The complex composition of E85 requests the catalyst to be active for two kinds of molecules (ethanol and gasoline) and must be resistant to sulfur for a catalytic process. Thus this process typically relies on noble metal catalyst (Rh) that is operated at high temperature with high H2O/Carbon ratio. In this work, we demonstrate the possibility of reforming of E85 using a nonthermal plasma reactor, which avoids using an expensive catalyst and is operated at lower temperature. The results show that hydrogen rich gases (62-66% H2 and ~27% CO, with small amounts of CO2, C2 hydrocarbons) could be achieved. Compared to ethanol plasma reforming at identical condition, E85 reforming produces slightly higher C2 hydrocarbons.