Thermodynamic Analysis of Hydrogen Generation

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Title: Thermodynamic Analysis of Hydrogen Generation
Author: Buford, Clarence Marcelle
Abstract: Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be used to create electricity via an electrochemical device called a fuel cell. Thus, many American scientists and policy makers consider hydrogen to be the fuel of the future because it can be produced without depending on petroleum imports. The research described in this dissertation investigates a thermodynamic model to predict results from and to compare methods of producing hydrogen. Hydrogen generation will be explored through modeling two types of processes: steam reforming and supersonic pyrolysis. Results of the model predict that although methanol is a widely used fuel for steam reforming, dimethyl ether can produce the same amount of hydrogen when it is reformed while consuming less energy. Supersonic pyrolysis is a well known process but has only recently been considered as a route to produce hydrogen. The model shows that pyrolysis could be a good alternative to steam reforming. Pyrolysis of fuels occurs at higher temperatures than does steam reforming and hence a higher energy input is necessary, however, hydrogen can be produced ten times faster making pyrolysis a more powerful method to produce hydrogen.
Type: Dissertation
Date: 2003-11-26
Publisher: Georgia Institute of Technology
Subject: Thermodynamic
Department: Physics
Advisor: Committee Chair: Whetten, Robert L.; Committee Member: de Heer, Walter; Committee Member: First, Philip; Committee Member: Gole, James; Committee Member: May, Gary
Degree: Ph.D.

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