Fuel Reforming for Hydrogen Production in Heavy-Duty Vehicle Applications

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Sammanfattning: The depletion of fossil fuels together with growing environmental concerns have created incitement for developing a more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicle fleet. The development towards cleaner heavy-duty vehicles started already in the 80’s with the introduction of emission legislations. Initially, engine optimization was enough for reaching the legislated levels of emissions. However, at present engine optimization is not enough but exhaust aftertreatment has become an essential part of heavy-duty vehicles, in order to meet the emission standards. Today, the total emissions are targeted which means that there is an interest in decreasing the idling emissions as well as the emissions during operation. To reduce the overall emissions several states in the USA have introduced idling legislations. Due to the limitations in idling time alternative solutions for power generation during rests are requested. A possible alternative is a fuel cell auxiliary power unit, combining a fuel cell with a fuel reformer (FC-APU). The focus of this thesis is the development of the fuel reformer for an FC-APU, in which the hydrogen to the fuel cell is generated from diesel in a high-temperature catalytic process. The produced hydrogen can also be used in other heavy-duty vehicle applications i.e. selective catalytic reduction of NOx (HC-SCR), where addition of hydrogen is essential for reaching high conversion at low temperatures. The effect of using hydrogen from a fuel reformer in HC-SCR is included in this work. The catalytic material development is focused on developing promoted materials with lower rhodium content but with catalytic activity comparable to that of materials with higher rhodium content. This includes evaluation and extensive characterization of both fresh and aged promoted materials. The work also includes reactor design where a micro reactor with multiple air inlets is evaluated.This work has contributed to increased knowledge of catalytic materials suitable for reforming of diesel. By changing the support material from the traditionally used alumina to ceria-zirconia, increased H2 yield was achieved. In addition, the ceria-zirconia supported material was less prone to coke. By promoting the material with cobalt or lanthanum it was possible to decrease the rhodium content by 2/3 with enhanced catalytic performance. It was also discovered that promotion with lanthanum decreased the tendency for coking even further. Additionally, the lanthanum-promoted material had higher thermal stability as well as a stable highly dispersed rhodium phase.Furthermore, the work has contributed to an increased knowledge concerning the fuel reformer’s effect on HC-SCR. The work displays clear evidence of benefits with using hydrogen-rich gas from a fuel reformer instead of pure hydrogen. The benefits are derived from the content of low molecular weight hydrocarbons present in the hydrogen-rich gas, which are strong reducing agents increasing the NOx reduction. This finding proves that fuel reforming in combination with HC-SCR is a viable option for NOx abatement.

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