442590 Investigating Pt-Catalyzed Microcombuster Design for Portable Power Device

Monday, November 9, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Nora Buggy, Chemical Engineering, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ

Investigating Pt-Catalyzed Microcombuster Design for Portable Power Device

Rowan University


Nora Buggy, buggyn05@students.rowan.edu

Dr. Smitesh Bakrania, bakrania@rowan.edu


With the current demand for portable electronic devices, the production of energy through micro-scale combustion of hydrocarbon fuels is becoming increasingly relevant. Microcombustors combined with thermoelectric devices have the potential to provide a prolonged power source for portable devices with a greater power density compared to conventional batteries. Previously, our work has successfully demonstrated room temperature ignition and the stability of catalytic activity of methanol-air mixtures with platinum nanoparticles during extended durational tests. This system used 10nm platinum particles deposited on 800-micron width channels of a cordierite substrate. The cordierite substrate was enclosed in an aluminum reactor. The system was studied for its performance over prolonged periods of catalytic cycling. The geometry and length of the substrate, the flow rate of fuel, and the amount of nanoparticles deposited on the substrate were varied to assess and optimize catalytic performance. In order to integrate the catalytic substrate within a reactor that maximizes power output when coupled with a thermoelectric device, a new planar reactor design was investigated. Substrate temperatures and outlet gas composition analysis were used as indicators of catalytic performance. The temperature gradients and their evolution were studied to assess nanoparticle stability. Additionally, the implementation of pre-heating the inlet gas by cyclically routing the gas through and around the reactor as its temperature increases is currently being investigated. The modified design yielded markedly improved thermal management of the combustion and stable catalytic combustion. As a result, a 20% increase in the hot side temperatures was achieved over the old substrate-reactor design. These results provide critical information towards the future development of a functional microcombustor-thermoelectric device.

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