Fuel cell application is considered as one of the potential technologies for auxiliary power unit (APU) since fuel cell has higher efficiency compared to competing technologies. However, high quality hydrogen feed is needed for stable fuel cell operation of an APU system.
Using autothermal reforming (ATR) of diesel, hydrogen-rich reformate gas can be obtained with high efficiency. Monolithic structure of catalysts is very important for APU applications due to its mechanical strength and ability to maintain high flow rate with low-presure drop. However, there are concerns about catalytic performances to use long time because it has not been varified for long-term performances.
In this study, stability test for monolithic catalyst was carried out using diesel ATR conditions. Catalyst powders are coated on cordierite monolith support and micro-reactor testing was used to evaluate catalytic performances under ATR operating conditions. Over 2,000 hours of continuous operation was achieved with monolithic ATR catalyst. Also, start-up tests for 1kWe-class diesel reformer were optimized and achieved with the coated monolithic catalyst. Initial heat-up process and stabilization strategies were investigated, and optimization processes of those procedures were studied. Detailed start-up processes will be discussed in this study. Flow conditions were controlled to maintain stable range of kW-class reforming reactor. With those results, strategies for fast start-up and steady operation of ATR were investigated with monolithic ATR catalyst at kW-class reactor.