The Effects of Temperature Upon the Supercritical Water Reformation of Alcohols for Hydrogen Production

Thursday, November 11, 2010: 9:20 AM
Brighton Room (Marriott Downtown)
Jared Bouquet1, Michael Stever2, Jason Picou2, Jonathan Wenzel3, Ryan E. Tschannen4 and Sunggyu Lee4, (1)Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO, (2)Chemical Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO, (3)Chemical Engineering, Kettering University, Flint, MI, (4)Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Ohio University, Athens, OH

Methanol is a very common industrial chemical used in a variety of processes, one of which is the transesterification of triglycerides to make biodiesel. The crude glycerol byproduct of the transesterification reaction contains a substantial amount of methanol. Supercritical water reformation of crude glycerol presents a unique non-catalytic means of converting unwanted crude glycerol into hydrogen for use in energy applications, hence increasing the amount of usable transportation fuel that may be produced from triglycerides in biodiesel production. The effect of reformation on each of the individual components of crude glycerol must be studied so that a detailed analysis on the effects of reformation of crude glycerol as a whole can be performed. The effect of temperature was evaluated on the non-catalytic reformation of methanol in supercritical water. An experimental study was conducted using a 0.4-L Haynes Alloy 230 reactor at a constant pressure of 22.4 MPa. The temperature was varied between 500 and 700C with water to methanol ratios ranging from 1:1 to 4.5:1 and space times ranging from 100 to 150 seconds.

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