Microlith® Technologies

PCI has developed a compact, lightweight and highly efficient catalytic reactor design offering major performance and cost advantages when compared to conventional state of the art catalytic reactors.


p microlithscreen                p fuelproc1
Microlith® Reactor    5-10 KWth Fuel Processor


PCI's patented Microlith® technology consists of a series of discrete, ultra short channel length, metal monoliths with low pressure drop. This combined with our advanced catalytic coating technology enables the simultaneous design of a high cell density, low thermal mass device along and smaller, lighter and higher efficiency catalytic reactors. Both mass transfer and heat transfer are significantly increased by the substrate design, allowing more rapid reactor response to gas temperatures as well as improved rates of reactant contact with the surface.

Microlith Diagram


Microlith® technology offers superior attributes; major performance benefits as well as cost advantages when compared to conventional state-of-the-art catalytic reactor systems.


  • Liquid fuel reforming efficiency of over 80%
  • ATR steam to carbon ratio of <1 reduces water need
  • No observed coke formation
  • Sulfur tolerant catalyst
  • Fast start-up and transient response


  • Ultra-compact: equivalent conversion and the same pressure drop as a monolith substrate with a 20 fold size reduction
  • Lightweight: Typically 10 times lighter than competing technologies.
  • Fast transient response: Typically 30 times faster than ceramic monoliths
  • High geometric surface area: Up to 6 times higher than competing technologies, leading to higher reaction selectivity and performance advantages.


  • Direct electrical heating of the substrate utilizing low power
  • Reduced weight and smaller size
  • High energy and conversion efficiency
  • Reduced maintenance and power requirements
  • Improved durability for long term reliable operation
  • Improved adsorbent utilization

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Additional Articles

Additional information can be obtained from the following published papers:

"Development and Performance of Microlith® Light-off Preconverters for LEV/ULEV", 1997 Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.

"Laboratory  Evaluation of Ultra-short Metal Monolith Catalyst", 1998 Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.

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