Microlith® Fuel Reformer

"We put the fuel in fuel cells®"

PCI is developing several fuel reforming catalytic reactors for integration into fuel processor and fuel cell power systems including:

  • Catalytic Partial Oxidation (CPOX) of methane, propane, gasoline, Jet A, JP-8 and diesel
  • Autothermal Reforming (ATR) of gasoline, Jet A, JP-5, JP-8 and diesel
  • Oxidative Steam Reforming (OSR) of methanol
  • Steam Reforming (SR) of methane, diesel

PCI's CPOX technology is being developed under NSF, DoD, NASA, industrial customer and internal programs for gas turbine, diesel engine and fuel cell power generation. Fueled by natural gas, PCI's CPOX technology has demonstrated steady operation at up to 16 atm. and power densities up to 30 MW/liter. Fueled by liquid fuels, PCI's CPOX technology has demonstrated cold start-up and sulfur tolerance.

PCI's ATR technology is being developed under internal, DoD, DOE and NASA programs for automotive, power generation and aircraft APU applications. Our ATR technology has demonstrated complete conversion of liquid fuels at low S:C ratio (less than 2), multi-fuel capability, and sulfur tolerance. This technology is also being developed for applications into Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) and PEM and High Temperature PEM fuel cell systems.

 Steam Methane Fuel Reformer Cropped

7.5 kWth Catalytic Steam Methane Reformer

PCI's OSR technology for reforming methanol based fuels was developed under a DoD program for military portable power and has demonstrated thermal efficiency greater than 87% with CO concentration in the reformate as low as 1.2%. 

PCI is developing a compact steam reforming reactor (SR). It operates with near equilibrium product composition with complete fuel conversion. The key design novelties are a flameless catalytic oxidizer (that avoids high flame temperatures) and high heat flux between the closely integrated endothermic and exothermic zones (facilitated by the use of high surface Microlith substrates). Limited testing has shown sulfur tolerance of up to 25 ppm fuel-sulfur. Long term tests are ongoing.

PCI's catalytic fuel reforming reactors are extremely compact, and have been demonstrated to meet or exceed DOE, DoD and industrial goals for weight and volume for on-board fuel reforming for automotive applications. Other applications include fuel reforming for hydrogen injection into IC engines and gas turbines and for diesel NOx reduction. 

All fuel reformer catalytic reactors are customized to optimize performance within the fuel reformer/processor system.

Contact PCI to learn more about how our solutions may be adapted for your needs.