Catalytic Combustion of Butanol and Ethanol

Thursday, November 11, 2010: 12:51 PM
150 A/B Room (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Ivan C. Lee and Douglas A. Behrens, US Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, MD

In this paper we have investigated the combustion of butanol and ethanol in a short contact time reactor. A rhodium-coated alumina foam catalyst attained 100% conversion of ethanol and 95% conversion of 1-butanol under fuel lean conditions. Effluent post-combustion gas analysis showed that varying the equivalence ratio results in 3 possible modes of operation. A regime of high carbon selectivity for CO2 occurs at low equivalence ratios and corresponds to complete combustion with a typical temperature of 775K that is ideal for PbTe thermoelectric energy conversion devices. Conversely for equivalence ratios greater than 1, carbon selectivity for CO2 decreases as hydrogen, olefin and paraffin production increases. By tuning the equivalence ratio, we have shown that a single device can combust completely for thermoelectric applications, operate as a fuel reformer to produce hydrogen gas for fuel cells or perform as a bio-refinery for paraffin and olefin synthesis.

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See more of this Session: Alternative Fuels II
See more of this Group/Topical: Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division