Performance Evaluation of a Catalytic Flat Plate Fuel Reformer for Hydrogen-Rich Reformate

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

ASME 2013 11th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology collocated with the ASME 2013 Heat Transfer Summer Conference and the ASME 2013 7th International Conference on Energy Sustainability

Conference Name

ASME 2013 11th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology


A two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is used for reforming methane with the help of catalytic combustion and reformation in a catalytic flat plate reformer. The two-dimensional approach makes the computational model more realistic by eliminating the uncertainties introduced by heat and mass transfer coefficients used in one-dimensional models. It also increased its capability to capture the effect of design parameters such as catalyst thickness, reaction rates, inlet temperature and velocity, and channel height has on producing high purity reformate gas. In order to carry out parametric studies related to various design parameters, in our present work, we simulate the entire flat plate reformer domain by considering full electro-kinetics that provide guidance for the practical implementation of such design. We chose different designs and operating conditions in such a way which makes possible to build a catalytic flat plate fuel reformer prototype. Based on the CFD results obtained in this study, we built a first generation catalytic flat plate fuel reformer prototype using the optimized design parameters. The performance of the fuel reformer prototype is tested with a 5-cell high temperature PEM fuel cell stack.


Paper No: FuelCell2013-18020, V001T04A002; https://doi.org/10.1115/FuelCell2013-18020

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Copyright © 2013 by ASME