High-Temp Ceramic Hydrogen Reformer From University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign

This breakthrough deserves a celebratory bottle of bubbly: researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have designed very efficient ceramic micro-reactors that produce hydrogen from hydrocarbons or even ammonia. Because these ceramic "reformers" operate at a very high temperature, they can process relatively crude feedstock and not plug up with carbon. It's anticipated that their hydrogen output will be useful for running small fuel cells capable of powering small appliances, laptop computers, and rechargers for battery packs. The research paper describing the discovery is published in the Journal of Catalysis, and is available as a PDF file download here. Briefly: The researchers incorporated a structured catalyst inside a small ceramic housing, which enables the steam reforming of propane at operating temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. "Using the new ceramic housing, the researchers also demonstrated the successful decomposition of ammonia at temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Celsius." We know you biodiesel fans would love to have a way to generate electricity directly from your favorite liquid fuel, Out of the fry pan and into the generator is a possibility. Via Primidi