Experimental and theoretical analysis of a natural gas fuel processor

Sayar A., Eskin N.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY, vol.46, no.2, pp.1569-1582, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2020.10.036
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Artic & Antarctic Regions, Chemical Abstracts Core, Communication Abstracts, Environment Index, INSPEC
  • Page Numbers: pp.1569-1582
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, a natural gas fuel processor was experimentally and theoretically investigated. The constructed 2.0 kWth fuel processor is suitable for a residential-scale high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell. The system consists of an autothermal reformer; gas clean-up units, namely high and low-temperature water-gas shift reactors; and utilities including feeding unit, burner, evaporator and heat exchangers. Commercial monolith catalysts were used in the reactors. The simulation was carried out by using ASPEN HYSYS program. A validated kinetic model and adiabatic equilibrium model were both presented and compared with experimental data. The nominal operating conditions which were determined by the kinetic model were the steam-to-carbon ratio of 3.0, the oxygen-to-carbon ratio of 0.5 and the inlet temperatures of 450 degrees C for autothermal reformer, 400 degrees C for high-temperature water-gas shift reactor and 310 degrees C for low-temperature water-gas shift reactor. Experimental results at the nominal condition showed that the performance criteria of the hydrogen yield, the fuel conversion and the efficiency were 2.53, 93.5% and 82.3% (higher heating value-HHV), respectively. The validated kinetic model was further used for the determination of 2-10kW thermal fuel processor efficiency which was increasing linearly up-to 86.3% (HHV). (C) 2020 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.