rexresearch.com



Daniel COHN, et al.

Plasmatron




See also : L. Rosocha : Plasma-Assisted Combustion ... P. Pantone : GEET








MIT News (October 23, 1997 ) : MIT device could lead to near-term environmental improvements for cars

Tenth Annual Discover Magazine Awards for Technological Innovation { JULY 1999 ) : Hydrogen A Go-Go


Eurekalert : MIT's plasmatron for cutting car pollutants is significant step closer to road tests


Popular Science ( March 2000, p. 38 ) : Smog-Eating Bottle


Future Pundit : Plasmatron May Boost Internal Combustion Engine Efficiency


Researchgate : Plasmatron Fuel Reformer Development and Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle Applications


Tesla3.com : Photos


Science.gov : Sample records for plasmatron fuel reformer


Eere.energy.gov : Onboard - Plasmatron Hydrogen Production


Youtube : Cleaner, Higher Efficiency Vehicles Using Plasmatrons


Web.anl.gov : Plasmatron Natural Gas Reforming


Digital.library.unt.edu : Plamatron ( Cohn )


Researchgate : Plasmatron Fuel Reformer Development and Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle Applications

semanticscholar.org : Aftertreatment of Diesel Vehicle Emissions Using Compact Plasmatron Fuel Converter-Catalyst Systems


Semanticscholar.org : Onboard Plasmatron Generation of Hydrogen

Patents




http://news.mit.edu/1997/plasmatron
MIT News (October 23, 1997 )
 
MIT engineer Alexander Rabinovich holds a device he developed with Leslie Bromberg (left), Daniel Cohn (right) and colleagues that could significantly reduce the amount of smog-producing pollutants generated by cars.

MIT device could lead to near-term environmental improvements for cars

A car that runs on vegetable oil?

MIT engineers and colleagues are perfecting a device that could turn that foodstuff and various "biocrude" oils into fuel that could reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil and decrease emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. The same device could also significantly reduce the amount of smog-producing pollutants generated by vehicles running on traditional fuels.

All that from a contraption the researchers believe will be relatively inexpensive--only a few percent of the cost of a car or truck. They also believe that it could be introduced into present vehicle technology with only minor modifications, and that it will only need to be replaced a few times over the lifetime of a vehicle.

Essentially the device, which is about the size of a large soup can, works as an onboard "oil refinery." It converts a wide variety of fuels into high-quality hydrogen-rich gas. Adding only a small amount of such gas to the fossil fuel powering a car is known to make possible a significant decrease in emissions of pollutants like nitrogen oxides.

"This device might dramatically reduce air pollution from autos and trucks without a major increase in costs and inconvenience," said Daniel R. Cohn, a senior research scientist at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC). "The device has near-term applications. No major advances are needed in internal combustion engine design to incorporate it."

Dr. Cohn's colleagues on the work are PSFC principal research engineer Leslie Bromberg, PSFC research engineer Alexander Rabinovich, and Jeffrey E. Surma and Jud Virden at the Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The team will present a paper on the work October 28 at the DOE Automotive Technology Development Customers' Coordination Meeting.

The new device is a kind of electrical gas heater known as a plasmatron. Fuel injected into the plasmatron is exposed to an arc of electricity that turns the fuel and surrounding air into an electrically charged gas, or plasma. The plasma accelerates reaction rates allowing the production of hydrogen-rich gas in a compact device--the plasmatron.

Plasmatrons have traditionally been used to produce hydrogen-rich gas for industrial applications like metallurgical processing. They are usually quite large--about the size of a car engine--and require large amounts of electrical power. "We're the first to develop a compact, low-power plasmatron," said Dr. Cohn. "To our knowledge no-one has created one that's this small (you can hold it in your hand) and that operates at low power (around one kilowatt)."

The researchers noted that conventional ways to produce hydrogen-rich gas involve devices that, among other limitations, are presently bulky, heavy, and can't effectively process biocrude oils. "They can basically do gasoline, methanol and, with a stretch, diesel," Dr. Bromberg said.

In contrast, the new plasmatron works well with a variety of fuels. "We've shown a very high degree of conversion (over 90 percent) of gasoline, diesel, and biocrude fuels into hydrogen-rich gas," Dr. Cohn said.

Although in principle the plasmatron could process all of the fuel for a vehicle, the researchers say that at present it's most cost-effective to convert only a fraction of the fuel into hydrogen-rich gas. That's because even though such gas increases the efficiency of an engine, the plasmatron itself consumes energy. "Processing a fraction of the fuel should prevent any decrease in net fuel consumption efficiency, and may in some cases improve net efficiency," Dr. Cohn said.

Pollution reduction is significant. For example, converting 25-50 percent of gasoline into hydrogen-rich gas "could reduce nitrogen oxide levels by a factor of five to ten relative to operation without hydrogen-rich gas," Dr. Cohn said. For natural gas, even less fuel need be converted for similar pollution reductions.

Biocrude oils have their own environmental benefits. "Such oils might be produced by fast-growing trees or other crops that absorb carbon dioxide, compensating for the carbon dioxide produced by combustion," explained Dr. Cohn.

The researchers are currently working to increase the efficiency and yields of the plasmatron. They are also developing designs that will give a longer lifetime for the electrodes.

In a parallel effort, they are conducting experiments on the effects of hydrogen-rich gas on internal combustion engines. The original experiments to this end that found significant benefits to the use of such gas were conducted in the 70s. "We want to reexamine engine performance with hydrogen using modern engines," Dr. Cohn said.

The new plasmatron grew out of work conducted over 15 years ago by Dr. Rabinovich, who was then an engineer in the former Soviet Union. Drs. Rabinovich, Cohn and Bromberg have written several papers on this topic, and in 1995 received a patent on using the plasmatron in internal combustion engines.

The work is supported by the DOE Office of Heavy Vehicle Technologies. Dr. Cohn noted that "we'd been considering these applications for some time, but it wasn't until we received this DOE funding that we could really move forward to try to validate our concepts for vehicular applications."



http://discovermagazine.com/1999/jul/thetenthannualdi1639
Tenth Annual Discover Magazine Awards for Technological Innovation { JULY 1999 )

Hydrogen A Go-Go

The world's smallest oil refinery sits in a first-floor lab at MIT. Called a plasmatron, it looks a bit like a spark plug that ate too much. And what an appetite it has! MIT researcher Daniel Cohn has fed the plasmatron gasoline, diesel, even canola oil. Eagerly swallowing anything that burns, the device lets go with a belch of electricity that turns the fuel and surrounding air into plasma, a hot collection of charged atoms and electrons. What comes out is a hydrogen-rich gas that burns far more cleanly than garden-variety gasoline.

Cohn and his colleagues are betting a version of their device would work wonders on the family automobile. Tucked beneath the driver's door, a soup-can-size plasmatron could siphon off a fraction of the fuel traveling from the gas tank, refine it in just a second, then send it to the engine. Together, the charged-up gas and untreated fuel would burn so readily that the engine would in turn run more efficiently, producing only a fraction of the normal smog-causing pollutants. Best of all, the microplasmatron works with ordinary gasoline — no fancy new fuels required.

Engineers have known for years that adding hydrogen to fuel makes an engine run cleaner. "The trick was figuring out how to produce hydrogen quickly and compactly on board," Cohn says. He and his researchers got the plasmatron idea from colleagues working in metallurgy who mix hydrogen-rich gases with oxygen-rich compounds to extract metals. In miniature form, the plasmatron would function as a kind of super-carburetor.

The prototype plasmatron at MIT could convert about one-quarter of a typical automobile's fuel into hydrogen. Enough, Cohn says, to cut emission of smog-causing nitrogen oxides by 90 percent. Having proven the plasmatron works in the lab, researchers now plan to try it in a stationary engine. If they're successful, the device could be cleaning up cars, trucks, and buses around the world in less than a decade.



https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/1999-11/MIoT-Mpfc-141199.php
14 November 1999

MIT's plasmatron for cutting car pollutants is significant step closer to road tests

An MIT device that could drastically cut smog-producing emissions from cars and other vehicles is a significant step closer to moving from the lab to the road. The device, known as a plasmatron, is expected to be inexpensive and readily compatible with present engine technology.

Recently the plasmatron was installed in a commercial car engine for the first time. It operated reliably over two weeks, and met its inventors' expectations for reducing emissions of pollutants, particularly nitrogen oxides (NOx). NOx emissions were reduced by two orders of magnitude compared to the normal emissions of an engine running on gasoline.

"This is a major milestone in showing the feasibility of a plasma-boosted fuel reformer for reducing vehicle pollution," said Daniel R. Cohn, head of the Plasma Technology Division at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC). Dr. Cohn will be presenting the work November 18 at a meeting of the American Physical Society.

Now that the researchers have successfully coupled the plasmatron to an engine, the next step is to install the device in an actual vehicle. "We're ready to take the show on the road," Dr. Cohn said.

Dr. Cohn's colleagues on the current work are PSFC principal research engineer Leslie Bromberg, PSFC research engineer Alexander Rabinovich, PSFC visiting scientist Nikolai Alexeev, and five engineers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where the engine tests were conducted.

HOW IT WORKS

Essentially the plasmatron, which is about the size of a wine bottle, works as an onboard "oil refinery." It converts a variety of fuels into high-quality hydrogen-rich gas. Adding only a small amount of such gas to the fossil fuel powering a car is known to significantly decrease emissions of pollutants like NOx.

Fuel injected into the plasmatron is exposed to an electric discharge that turns the fuel and surrounding air into an electrically charged gas, or plasma. The plasma accelerates reaction rates allowing the production of hydrogen-rich gas.

Plasmatrons have traditionally been used to produce hydrogen-rich gas for industrial applications like metallurgical processing. They are usually quite large--about the size of a car engine--and require large amounts of electrical power. "To our knowledge we're the first to develop a plasma-boosted fuel reformer that's this small and that operates at low power (less than one kilowatt)," said Dr. Cohn.

CURRENT RESULTS

"The real achievement of the recent tests was our ability to run our new plasmatron connected to an engine for long periods of time," Dr. Rabinovich said. "We ran it reliably for four to six hours a day over two weeks, with no traces of deterioration."

In addition, the researchers found that emissions of key pollutants were significantly reduced. For example, NOx was reduced from an average 2,700 parts per million without the plasmatron to 20 ppm with the device.

"This is the first time anyone's been able to integrate a compact plasma-boosted fuel reformer with an auto engine and show a large reduction in pollutants," Dr. Cohn said. In an actual vehicle these reductions will not be as dramatic (due to help from the catalytic converter), but the researchers still expect to reduce NOx emissions by a factor of 10.

The researchers believe that the plasmatron used in the current tests has the basic features needed for commercial attractiveness. For example, they estimate that the entire plasmatron system could cost no more than two to three hundred dollars. Moreover, the only component that may need to be replaced-an electrode-is very inexpensive and can be changed as easily as a spark plug.

The next step in the work-placing the plasmatron in an actual vehicle-will require integrating the system to the vehicle's onboard computer. Dr. Rabinovich also notes that "the plasmatron will require some additional room, but there's no need for a major redesign of the vehicle." The team hopes to put the device in a bus within a year.

VARIETY OF FUELS

The recent engine tests were conducted using gasoline. However, laboratory tests with the plasmatron alone have shown that the device can also process diesel and biocrude fuels.

Although in principle the device could process all of the fuel for a vehicle, the researchers say that it's most cost-effective to convert only a fraction of the fuel into hydrogen-rich gas. That's because even though such gas increases the efficiency of an engine, the plasmatron itself consumes energy. The best results in the recent tests were achieved by converting 25 percent of the gasoline into hydrogen-rich gas.

The plasmatron grew out of work conducted over 15 years ago by Dr. Rabinovich, who was then an engineer in the former Soviet Union. Dr. Alexeev, a colleague of Dr. Rabinovich's at the time, came to MIT this year to join his friend on the team (he has since returned to Russia). The plasmatron also owes a debt to basic research at MIT on fusion power, which uses plasmas.

The researchers have five patents related to the plasmatron. The work is supported by the DOE Office of Heavy Vehicle Technologies.



Popular Science ( March 2000, p. 38 )





http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/001738.html
October 25, 2003

Plasmatron May Boost Internal Combustion Engine Efficiency

A plasmatron is a device that can convert gasoline and diesel fuel into hydrogen. Hydrogen can be used in diesel engines to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission.

The researchers and colleagues from industry report that the plasmatron, used with an exhaust treatment catalyst on a diesel engine bus, removed up to 90 percent of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the bus’s emissions. Nitrogen oxides are the primary components of smog.

The plasmatron reformer also cut in half the amount of fuel needed for the removal process. “The absorption catalyst approach under consideration for diesel exhaust NOx removal requires additional fuel to work,” explained Daniel R. Cohn, one of the leaders of the team and head of the Plasma Technology Division at MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC). “The plasmatron reformer reduced that amount of fuel by a factor of two compared to a system without the plasmatron.”

In gasoline engines the use of plasmatrons will boost car fuel efficiency by 20 percent.

"If widespread use of plasmatron hydrogen-enhanced gasoline engines could eventually increase the average efficiency of cars and other light-duty vehicles by 20 percent, the amount of gasoline that could be saved would be around 25 billion gallons a year," Cohn said. "That corresponds to around 70 percent of the oil that is currently imported by the United States from the Middle East."

The Bush administration has made development of a hydrogen-powered vehicle a priority, Heywood noted. "That's an important goal, as it could lead to more efficient, cleaner vehicles, but is it the only way to get there? Engines using plasmatron reformer technology could have a comparable impact, but in a much shorter time frame," he said.

"Our objective is to have the plasmatron in production—and in vehicles—by 2010," Smaling said. ArvinMeritor is working with a vehicle concept specialist company to build a proof-of-concept vehicle that incorporates the plasmatron in an internal combustion engine. "We'd like to have a driving vehicle in one and a half years to demonstrate the benefits," Smaling said.

In the meantime, the team continues to improve the base technology. At the DEER meeting, Bromberg, for example, reported cutting the plasmatron's consumption of electric power "by a factor of two to three."




https://www.researchgate.net/publication/242182084_Plasmatron_Fuel_Reformer_Development_and_Internal_Combustion_Engine_Vehicle_Applications

Plasmatron Fuel Reformer Development and Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle Applications


 



http://tesla3.com/free_websites/plasmatron.html

Plasmatron attached to a carburetor









http://www.science.gov/topicpages/p/plasmatron+fuel+reformer.html

Sample records for plasmatron fuel reformer

http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/918084

Bromberg, Leslie; Cohn, Daniel R.; Rabinovich, Alexander; Alexeev, Nikolai

A plasmatron-catalyst system. The system generates hydrogen-rich gas and comprises a plasmatron and at least one catalyst for receiving an output from the plasmatron to produce hydrogen-rich gas. In a preferred embodiment, the plasmatron receives as an input air, fuel and water/steam for use in the reforming process. The system increases the hydrogen yield and decreases the amount of carbon monoxide.


http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/827860

EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS USING HYDROGEN FROM PLASMATRON FUEL CONVERTERS

Bromberg, L

Substantial progress in engine emission control is needed in order to meet present and proposed regulations for both spark ignition and diesel engines. Tightening regulations throughout the world reflect the ongoing concern with vehicle emissions. Recently developed compact plasmatron fuel converters have features that are suitable for onboard production of hydrogen for both fuel pretreatment and for exhaust aftertreatment applications. Systems that make use of these devices in conjunction with aftertreatment catalysts have the potential to improve significantly prospects for reduction of diesel engine emissions. Plasmatron fuel converters can provide a rapid response compact means to transform efficiently a wide range of hydrocarbon fuels into hydrogen rich gas. They have been used to reform natural gas [Bromberg1], gasoline [Green], diesel [Bromberg2] and hard-to-reform biofuels [Cohn1] into hydrogen rich gas (H2 + CO). The development of these devices has been pursued for the purpose of reducing engine exhaust pollutants by providing hydrogen rich gas for combustion in spark ignition and possibly diesel engines, as shown in Figure 1 [Cohn2]. Recent developments in compact plasmatron reformer design at MIT have resulted in substantial decreases in electrical power requirements. These new developments also increase the lifetime of the electrodes.


http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/1003003

Low current plasmatron fuel converter having enlarged volume discharges

Rabinovich, Alexander; Alexeev, Nikolai; Bromberg, Leslie; Cohn, Daniel R.; Samokhin, Andrei

A novel apparatus and method is disclosed for a plasmatron fuel converter ("plasmatron") that efficiently uses electrical energy to produce hydrogen rich gas. The volume and shape of the plasma discharge is controlled by a fluid flow established in a plasma discharge volume. A plasmatron according to this invention produces a substantially large effective plasma discharge volume allowing for substantially greater volumetric efficiency in the initiation of chemical reactions within a volume of bulk fluid reactant flowing through the plasmatron.


http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/1175323

Low current plasmatron fuel converter having enlarged volume discharges

Rabinovich, Alexander; Alexeev, Nikolai; Bromberg, Leslie; Cohn, Daniel R.; Samokhin, Andrei

A novel apparatus and method is disclosed for a plasmatron fuel converter (""plasmatron"") that efficiently uses electrical energy to produce hydrogen rich gas. The volume and shape of the plasma discharge is controlled by a fluid flow established in a plasma discharge volume. A plasmatron according to this invention produces a substantially large effective plasma discharge volume allowing for substantially greater volumetric efficiency in the initiation of chemical reactions within a volume of bulk fluid reactant flowing through the plasmatron.


http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/902082

Onboard Plasmatron Hydrogen Production for Improved Vehicles

Daniel R. Cohn; Leslie Bromberg; Kamal Hadidi

A plasmatron fuel reformer has been developed for onboard hydrogen generation for vehicular applications. These applications include hydrogen addition to spark-ignition internal combustion engines, NOx trap and diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration, and emissions reduction from spark ignition internal combustion engines First, a thermal plasmatron fuel reformer was developed. This plasmatron used an electric arc with relatively high power to reform fuels such as gasoline, diesel and biofuels at an oxygen to carbon ratio close to 1. The draw back of this device was that it has a high electric consumption and limited electrode lifetime due to the high temperature electric arc. A second generation plasmatron fuel reformer was developed. It used a low-current high-voltage electric discharge with a completely new electrode continuation. This design uses two cylindrical electrodes with a rotating discharge that produced low temperature volumetric cold plasma., The lifetime of the electrodes was no longer an issue and the device was tested on several fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and biofuels at different flow rates and different oxygen to carbon ratios. Hydrogen concentration and yields were measured for both the thermal and non-thermal plasmatron reformers for homogeneous (non-catalytic) and catalytic reforming of several fuels. The technology was licensed to an industrial auto part supplier (ArvinMeritor) and is being implemented for some of the applications listed above. The Plasmatron reformer has been successfully tested on a bus for NOx trap regeneration. The successful development of the plasmatron reformer and its implementation in commercial applications including transportation will bring several benefits to the nation. These benefits include the reduction of NOx emissions, improving engine efficiency and reducing the nation's oil consumption. The objective of this program has been to develop attractive applications of plasmatron fuel reformer


http://hdl.handle.net/2060/20030053202
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Reduced Toxicity Fuel Satellite Propulsion System Including Plasmatron

Schneider, Steven J. (Inventor)

A reduced toxicity fuel satellite propulsion system including a reduced toxicity propellant supply for consumption in an axial class thruster and an ACS class thruster. The system includes suitable valves and conduits for supplying the reduced toxicity propellant to the ACS decomposing element of an ACS thruster. The ACS decomposing element is operative to decompose the reduced toxicity propellant into hot propulsive gases. In addition the system includes suitable valves and conduits for supplying the reduced toxicity propellant to an axial decomposing element of the axial thruster. The axial decomposing element is operative to decompose the reduced toxicity propellant into hot gases. The system further includes suitable valves and conduits for supplying a second propellant to a combustion chamber of the axial thruster. whereby the hot gases and the second propellant auto-ignite and begin the combustion process for producing thrust.


http://www.osti.gov/scitech/biblio/1135719
http://www.osti.gov/sciencecinema/biblio/1135719

NETL - Fuel Reforming Facilities

Research using NETL's Fuel Reforming Facilities explores catalytic issues inherent in fossil-energy related applications, including catalyst synthesis and characterization, reaction kinetics, catalyst activity and selectivity, catalyst deactivation, and stability.


http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20050186866&hterms=CO2+fuel&qs=Ntx%3Dmode%2Bmatchall%26Ntk%3DAll%26N%3D0%26No%3D20%26Ntt%3DCO2%2Bfuel

Reformer Fuel Injector

Suder, Jennifer L.

Today's form of jet engine power comes from what is called a gas turbine engine. This engine is on average 14% efficient and emits great quantities of green house gas carbon dioxide and air pollutants, Le. nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides. The alternate method being researched involves a reformer and a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Reformers are becoming a popular area of research within the industry scale. NASA Glenn Research Center's approach is based on modifying the large aspects of industry reforming processes into a smaller jet fuel reformer. This process must not only be scaled down in size, but also decrease in weight and increase in efficiency. In comparison to today's method, the Jet A fuel reformer will be more efficient as well as reduce the amount of air pollutants discharged. The intent is to develop a 10kW process that can be used to satisfy the needs of commercial jet engines. Presently, commercial jets use Jet-A fuel, which is a kerosene based hydrocarbon fuel. Hydrocarbon fuels cannot be directly fed into a SOFC for the reason that the high temperature causes it to decompose into solid carbon and Hz. A reforming process converts fuel into hydrogen and supplies it to a fuel cell for power, as well as eliminating sulfur compounds. The SOFC produces electricity by converting H2 and CO2. The reformer contains a catalyst which is used to speed up the reaction rate and overall conversion. An outside company will perform a catalyst screening with our baseline Jet-A fuel to determine the most durable catalyst for this application. Our project team is focusing on the overall research of the reforming process. Eventually we will do a component evaluation on the different reformer designs and catalysts. The current status of the project is the completion of buildup in the test rig and check outs on all equipment and electronic signals to our data system. The objective is to test various reformer designs and catalysts in our test rig to determine the most


http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/11914

Liquid fuel reformer development.

Ahmed, S.; Krumpelt, M.; Pereira, C.; Wilkenhoener, R.

At Argonne National Laboratory we are developing a process to convert hydrocarbon fuels to a clean hydrogen feed for a fuel cell. The process incorporates a partial oxidation/steam reforming catalyst that can process hydrocarbon feeds at lower temperatures than existing commercial catalysts. We have tested the catalyst with three diesel-type fuels: hexadecane, low-sulfur diesel fuel, and a regular diesel fuel. We achieved complete conversion of the feed to products. Hexadecane yielded products containing 60% hydrogen on a dry, nitrogen-free basis at 800 C. For the two diesel fuels, higher temperatures, >850 C, were required to approach similar levels of hydrogen in the product stream. At 800 C, hydrogen yield of the low sulfur diesel was 32%, while that of the regular diesel was 52%. Residual products in both cases included CO, CO{sub 2}, ethane, ethylene, and methane.


http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/759078

Liquid fuel reformer development: Autothermal reforming of Diesel fuel

Pereira, C.; Bae, J-M.; Ahmed, S.; Krumpelt, M.

Argonne National Laboratory is developing a process to convert hydrocarbon fuels to clean hydrogen feeds for a polymer electrolyte fuel cell. The process incorporates an autothermal reforming catalyst that can process hydrocarbon feeds at lower temperatures than existing commercial catalysts. The authors have tested the catalyst with three diesel-type fuels: hexadecane, certified low-sulfur grade 1 diesel, and a standard grade 2 diesel. Hexadecane yielded products containing 60% hydrogen on a dry, nitrogen-free basis at 850 C, while maximum hydrogen product yields for the two diesel fuels were near 50%. Residual products in all cases included CO, CO{sub 2}, ethane, and methane. Further studies with grade 1 diesel showed improved conversion as the water:fuel ratio was increased from 1 to 2 at 850 C. Soot formation was reduced when the oxygen:carbon ratio was maintained at 1 at 850 C. There were no significant changes in hydrogen yield as the space velocity and the oxygen:fuel ratio were varied. Tests with a microchannel monolithic catalyst yielded similar or improved hydrogen levels at higher space velocities than with extruded pellets in a packed bed.


http://www.osti.gov/scitech/servlets/purl/1084259

Plasma-catalyzed fuel reformer

Hartvigsen, Joseph J.; Elangovan, S.; Czernichowski, Piotr; Hollist, Michele

A reformer is disclosed that includes a plasma zone to receive a pre-heated mixture of reactants and ionize the reactants by applying an electrical potential thereto. A first thermally conductive surface surrounds the plasma zone and is configured to transfer heat from an external heat source into the plasma zone. The reformer further includes a reaction zone to chemically transform the ionized reactants into synthesis gas comprising hydrogen and carbon monoxide. A second thermally conductive surface surrounds the reaction zone and is configured to transfer heat from the external heat source into the reaction zone. The first thermally conductive surface and second thermally conductive surface are both directly exposed to the external heat source. A corresponding method and system are also disclosed and claimed herein.


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20163957

Steam plasmatron gasification of distillers grains residue from ethanol production.

Shie, Je-Lueng; Tsou, Feng-Ju; Lin, Kae-Long

In this study, a plasmatron reactor was used for gasifying the waste of distillers grains at different temperatures (773, 873, 973 K) and water flow rates (1, 2, 3 mL min(-1)), which were heated to produce steam. Among all the gas products, syngas was the major component (88.5 wt.% or 94.66 vol.%) with temperatures yielding maximum concentrations at 873 K with a relatively high reaction rate. The maximum concentrations regarding gaseous production occurring times are all below 1 min. With the increase of steam, the recovery mass yield of syngas also increases from 34.14 to 45.47 approximately 54.66 wt.% at 873 K. Water-gas reactions and steam-methane reforming reactions advance the production of syngas with the increase of steam. Furthermore, the water-shift reaction also increases in the context of steam gasification which leads to the decrease of CO(2) at the same time. PMID:20163957


http://www.osti.gov/scitech/biblio/530460

Synergize fuel and petrochemical processing plans with catalytic reforming

Depending on the market, refiner`s plans to produce clean fuels and higher value petrochemicals will weigh heavily on the catalytic reformer`s flexibility. It seems that as soon as a timely article related to catalytic reforming operations is published, a new {open_quotes}boutique{close_quotes} gasoline fuel specification is slapped on to existing fuel standards, affecting reformer operations and processing objectives. Just as importantly, the petrochemical market (such as aromatics) that refiners are targeting, can be very fickle. That`s why process engineers have endeavored to maintain an awareness of the flexibility that technology suppliers are building into modern catalytic reformers.


http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-data_query?bibcode=2016JPS...313..223D&link_type=ABSTRACT

Control of autothermal reforming reactor of diesel fuel

Dolanc, Gregor; Pregelj, B.; Petrovčič, Janko; Pasel, Joachim; Kolb, Gunther

In this paper a control system for autothermal reforming reactor for diesel fuel is presented. Autothermal reforming reactors and the pertaining purification reactors are used to convert diesel fuel into hydrogen-rich reformate gas, which is then converted into electricity by the fuel cell. The purpose of the presented control system is to control the hydrogen production rate and the temperature of the autothermal reforming reactor. The system is designed in such a way that the two control loops do not interact, which is required for stable operation of the fuel cell. The presented control system is a part of the complete control system of the diesel fuel cell auxiliary power unit (APU).


http://www.osti.gov/scitech/biblio/6160257

Apparatus for reforming fuel oil wherein ultrasonic waves are utilized

Kunishio, M.; Shirai, K.; Takezi, H.

An apparatus for reforming fuel oil wherein ultrasonic waves are utilized. The apparatus comprises a closed vessel, a rotary collector formed in a cylindrical shape, an inlet conduit for supplying fuel oil to be reformed into the vessel, an outlet conduit for delivering reformed oil from the vessel, and a ultrasonic irradiating device. The rotary collector has a layered mesh structure of a fine mesh, preferably of mesh size between 2 mu M and 20 mu m, mounted thereon so that sludge contained in the fuel oil to be reformed is collected on the layered mesh structure. One end of a horn connected to the ultrasonic wave irradiating device faces the layered mesh structure forming a small gap therebetween so that the sludge collected on the layered mesh structure is dissociated by the ultrasonic waves.



http://www.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/pdfs/hvso_2006/20_cohn.pdf

Onboard - Plasmatron Hydrogen Production

[ PDF ]



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUlZ1fJ2rjo

Cleaner, Higher Efficiency Vehicles Using Plasmatrons



https://web.anl.gov/PCS/acsfuel/.../Files/49_2_Philadelphia_10-04_1230.pdf

Plasmatron Natural Gas Reforming

[ PDF ]



http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc889874/m1/187/
http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc889874/m2/1/high_res_d/902082.pdf





https://www.researchgate.net/publication/242182084_Plasmatron_Fuel_Reformer_Development_and_Internal_Combustion_Engine_Vehicle_Applications

Plasmatron Fuel Reformer Development and Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle Applications



https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/267e/151f7f4d69d4b6f75eb9b89604e6ac117f93.pdf

Aftertreatment of Diesel Vehicle Emissions Using Compact Plasmatron Fuel Converter-Catalyst Systems

[ PDF ]



https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f2f9/72955c7214926605771e6b7c97c4d5d9e40c.pdf

Onboard Plasmatron Generation of Hydrogen...

[ PDF ]



PATENTS


US9057032
HIGH PRESSURE GASIFIER SYSTEM USING ELECTRICALLY ASSISTED HEATING

[ PDF ]

The problems of the prior art are overcome by the apparatus and method disclosed herein. The reactor vessel of a plasma gasifier is operated at high pressure. To compensate for the negative effects of high pressure, various modifications to the plasma gasifier are disclosed. For example, by moving the slag, more material is exposed to the plasma, allowing better and more complete processing thereof. In some embodiments, magnetic fields are used to cause movement of the slag and molten metal within the vessel. An additional embodiment is to add microwave heating of the slag and/or the incoming material. Microwave heating can also be used as an alternative to plasma heating in a high pressure gasification system.



US5908564
Tunable, self-powered arc plasma-melter electro conversion system for waste treatment and resource recovery

[ PDF ]

Methods and apparatus for high efficiency generation of electricity and low oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions are provided. The electricity is generated from combustion of hydrogen-rich gases produced in waste conversion units using ultra lean fuel to air ratios in the range of 0.4-0.7 relative to stoichiometric operation in internal combustion engine-generators or ultra lean operation in gas turbines to ensure minimal production of pollutants such as NOx. The ultra lean operation also increases the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. High compression ratios (r=12 to 15) can also be employed to further increase the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. Supplemental fuel, such as natural gas or diesel oil, may be added directly to the internal combustion engine-generator or gas turbine for combustion with the hydrogen-rich gases produced in waste conversion unit. In addition, supplemental fuel may be reformed into a hydrogen-rich gas in a plasma fuel converter and then introduced into the internal combustion engine-generator or a gas turbine for combustion along with supplemental fuel and the hydrogen-rich gases produced in waste conversion unit. The preferred embodiment of the waste conversion unit is a fully integrated tunable arc plasma-joule heated melter with a common molten pool and power supply circuits which can be operated simultaneously without detrimental interaction with one another. In this embodiment, the joule heated melter is capable of maintaining the material in a molten state with sufficient electrical conductivity to allow rapid restart of a transferred arc plasma.



US5847353
Methods and apparatus for low NOx emissions during the production of electricity from waste treatment systems

[ PDF ]

Methods and apparatus for high efficiency generation of electricity and low oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions are provided. The electricity is generated from combustion of hydrogen-rich gases produced in waste conversion units using ultra lean fuel to air ratios in the range of 0.4-0.7 relative to stoichiometric operation in internal combustion engine-generators or ultra lean operation in gas turbines to ensure minimal production of pollutants such as NOx. The ultra lean operation also increases the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. High compression ratios (r=12 to 15) can also be employed to further increase the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. Supplemental fuel, such as natural gas or diesel oil, may be added directly to the internal combustion engine-generator or gas turbine for combustion with the hydrogen-rich gases produced in waste conversion unit. In addition, supplemental fuel may be reformed into a hydrogen-rich gas in a plasma fuel converter and then introduced into the internal combustion engine-generator or a gas turbine for combustion along with supplemental fuel and the hydrogen-rich gases produced in waste conversion unit. The preferred embodiment of the waste conversion unit is a fully integrated tunable arc plasma-joule heated melter with a common molten pool and power supply circuits which can be operated simultaneously without detrimental interaction with one another. In this embodiment, the joule heated melter is capable of maintaining the material in a molten state with sufficient electrical conductivity to allow rapid restart of a transferred arc plasma.



US5256854
Tunable plasma method and apparatus using radio frequency heating and electron beam irradiation

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Systems for producing hydrogen-rich gases including rapid response plasma fuel converters are provided. The rapid response plasma fuel converters systems are suitable for use in vehicles and the like in which the systems are capable of instantaneously providing hydrogen-rich gas, reducing pollutants during vehicle startup and allowing use of hydrogen-rich gas during load changes. The systems are preferably capable of responding on the order of a second or less. The systems include a plasma fuel converter for receiving hydrocarbon fuel and reforming the hydrocarbon fuel into a hydrogen-rich gas, an internal combustion engine adapted to receive the hydrogen-rich gas from the plasma fuel converter, a generator powered by the engine and connected to deliver electrical energy to power the plasma fuel converter, and a power supply circuit capable of rapidly providing power to the plasma fuel converter in response to a stimulus. The stimulus can be movement in the accelerator pedal controlled by the driver of the vehicle. The plasma fuel converters can be operated pulsed or non-pulsed modes of operation and can utilize arc or high frequency discharges. The plasma fuel converter can be either separated from the engine or directly integrated into the engine to allow for more efficient use of the thermal energy produced by the plasma fuel converter.



US5887554
Rapid response plasma fuel converter systems

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Systems for producing hydrogen-rich gases including rapid response plasma fuel converters are provided. The rapid response plasma fuel converters systems are suitable for use in vehicles and the like in which the systems are capable of instantaneously providing hydrogen-rich gas, reducing pollutants during vehicle startup and allowing use of hydrogen-rich gas during load changes. The systems are preferably capable of responding on the order of a second or less. The systems include a plasma fuel converter for receiving hydrocarbon fuel and reforming the hydrocarbon fuel into a hydrogen-rich gas, an internal combustion engine adapted to receive the hydrogen-rich gas from the plasma fuel converter, a generator powered by the engine and connected to deliver electrical energy to power the plasma fuel converter, and a power supply circuit capable of rapidly providing power to the plasma fuel converter in response to a stimulus. The stimulus can be movement in the accelerator pedal controlled by the driver of the vehicle. The plasma fuel converters can be operated pulsed or non-pulsed modes of operation and can utilize arc or high frequency discharges. The plasma fuel converter can be either separated from the engine or directly integrated into the engine to allow for more efficient use of the thermal energy produced by the plasma fuel converter.



US6322757
Low power compact plasma fuel converter

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The plasma fuel converter includes an electrically conductive structure for forming a first electrode and a second electrode is disposed to create a gap with respect to the first electrode in a reaction chamber. A fuel-air mixture is introduced into the gap and the power supply is connected to the first and second electrodes to provide voltage in the range of approximately 100 volts to 40 kilovolts and current in the range of approximately 10 milliamperes to 1 ampere to generate a glow discharge to reform the fuel. The high voltage low current plasmatron of the invention is low cost, has long electrode life, utilizes a simple power supply and control and eliminates the need for an air compressor.



US5666891
ARC plasma-melter electro conversion system for waste treatment and resource recovery

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The present invention provides a relatively compact and highly robust waste-to-energy conversion system and apparatus which has the advantage of complete or substantially complete conversion of a wide range of waste streams into useful gas and a stable, nonleachable solid product at a single location with greatly reduced air pollution to meet air quality standards. The gas may be utilized in a combustion process to generate electricity and the solid product can be suitable for various commercial applications. Alternatively, the solid product stream, which is a safe, stable material, may be disposed of without special considerations as hazardous material. In one embodiment of the invention, the conversion system includes an arc plasma furnace directly coupled to a joule heated melter. In an alternative and preferred embodiment of the invention, the arc plasma furnace and joule heated melter are formed as a completely integrated unit having circuit arrangements for the simultaneous operation of both the arc plasma and the joule heated portions of the unit without interference with one another. The apparatus may additionally be employed without further use of the gases generated by the conversion process.



US6560958
Emission abatement system


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The system includes a source of emissions and a catalyst for receiving the emissions. Suitable catalysts are absorber catalysts and selective catalytic reduction catalysts. A plasma fuel converter generates a reducing gas from a fuel source and is connected to deliver the reducing gas into contact with the absorber catalyst for regenerating the catalyst. A preferred reducing gas is a hydrogen rich gas and a preferred plasma fuel converter is a plasmatron. It is also preferred that the absorber catalyst be adapted for absorbing NOx.



US6881386
Low current plasmatron fuel converter having enlarged volume discharges

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A novel apparatus and method is disclosed for a plasmatron fuel converter ("plasmatron") that efficiently uses electrical energy to produce hydrogen rich gas. The volume and shape of the plasma discharge is controlled by a fluid flow established in a plasma discharge volume. A plasmatron according to this invention produces a substantially large effective plasma discharge volume allowing for substantially greater volumetric efficiency in the initiation of chemical reactions within a volume of bulk fluid reactant flowing through the plasmatron.



WO0114702
LOW POWER COMPACT PLASMA FUEL CONVERTER

[ PDF ]

The plasma fuel converter includes an electrically conductive structure for forming a first electrode and a second electrode is disposed to create a gap with respect to the first electrode in a reaction chamber. A fuel-air mixture is introduced into the gap and the power supply is connected to the first and second electrodes to provide voltage in the range of approximately 100 volts to 40 kilovolts and current in the range of approximately 10 milliamperes to 1 ampere to generate a glow discharge to reform the fuel. The high voltage low current plasmatron of the invention is low cost, has long electrode life, utilizes a simple power supply and control and eliminates the need for an air compressor.




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