278936 Influence of Microwave Band Irradiation On Catalytic Reforming Systems

Sunday, October 28, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Steven E. Edmund and Johannes W. Schwank, Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


Research and teaching in engineering have gone hand in hand during my time at the University of Michigan.   I study the area of catalytic fuel reforming in the pursuit of alternatives to the traditional use of petroleum that has dominated the past century.  The use of catalysts to create and move between different types of fuels holds great promise as a means to address our energy future.  My research has provided many examples that I have been able to pull into the classroom, while by teaching I have achieved a greater depth of understanding in those fields.  As an educator I seek to guide students into the deeper problem-solving and critical-thinking skills needed to solve challenging problems and ask insightful questions within the broader context of their field.  Teaching has been a rewarding process as it continually morphs and changes with the students, who are themselves growing into more informed and educated people.  I find an inherent delight in assisting someone to understand a new truth about the workings of the world. 


Catalytic reforming of hydrocarbon fuels is frequently plagued by deactivation via carbon deposition and sulfur poisoning. Further deactivation may occur when catalysts are operated adiabatically without a sufficient exotherm to heat the catalyst and prevent oxidation of the active metal. The present study examines a means of dealing with hypothetical feed disturbance events and resulting deactivation from sulfur poisoning via irradiation of the catalyst in the microwave band (2.45GHz, λ=12.1cm). To probe interactions with electromagnetic radiation and to minimize internal field attenuation, a model system was chosen consisting of cordierite monolith supported catalysts, washcoated with a Ni/Ce0.75Zr0.252 catalyst.  Propane was used as a model fuel due to its potential in portable power and chemical synthesis applications.  Sulfur was supplied to the reaction system in form of thiophene, with O/C and H2O/C ratios chosen to represent scenarios where significant deactivation is expected.

For more information on my teaching and research please visit:  http://www.stevenedmund.com/

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