Autothermal fuel reforming catalyst for fuel cells

The autothermal fuel reforming catalyst,produced by a team at ANL, is the keycomponent of a fuel processor that canefficiently convert methanol, ethanol, naturalgas, gasoline, and diesel into hydrogen that canbe fed to a fuel cell to produce electricity. Thefuel processor produces high-quality hydrogenfuel within two minutes of startup attemperatures that are several hundred degreescentigrade below those required for processorsbased on a noncatalytic action. This will makefuel-cell-powered automobiles practical.ANL’s patented technology was transferredthrough a combination of CRADAs andlicense agreements with Süd-Chemie, Inc. andH2fuel, LLC. Both companies are in theprocess of making the technology available onthe open market.The autothermal fuel reforming catalyst willpresent a number of benefits. The technologywill allow fuel-cell-powered cars to run onconventional fuels rather than pure hydrogen—making them more attractive to consumers.Unlike most conventional catalysts, which arepoisoned by sulfur, the ANL catalyst cantolerate the sulfur present in petroleum-derivedfuels. The new technology could also helpmake fuel cells more attractive as powersources for homes, commercial buildings, andportable power applications in remotelocations.
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