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ECN publication
Steam reforming of commercial ultra-low sulphur diesel
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Biomass, Coal and Environmental Research 2-5-2011
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-V--11-006 Article
Number of pages: Full text:
9 Download PDF  

Published in: Journal of Power Sources (Elsevier), , 2011, Vol.196, p.5928-5935.

Two main routes for small-scale diesel steam reforming exist: low-temperature pre-reforming followed by well-established methane steam reforming on the one hand and direct steam reforming on the other hand. Tests with commercial catalysts and commercially obtained diesel fuels are presented for both processes. The fuels contained up to 6.5ppmw sulphur and up to 4.5 vol.% of biomass-derived fatty acid methyl ester (FAME). Pre-reforming sulphur-free diesel at around 475 ?C has been tested with a commercial nickel catalyst for 118 h without observing catalyst deactivation, at steam-to-carbon ratios as low as 2.6. Direct steam reforming at temperatures up to 800 ?C has been tested with a commercial precious metal catalyst for a total of 1190 h with two catalyst batches at steam-to-carbon ratios as low as 2.5. Deactivation was neither observed with lower steam-to-carbon ratios nor for increasing sulphur concentration. The importance of good fuel evaporation and mixing for correct testing of catalysts is illustrated. Diesel containing biodiesel components resulted in poor spray quality, hence poor mixing and evaporation upstream, eventually causing decreasing catalyst performance. The feasibility of direct high temperature steam reforming of commercial low-sulphur diesel has been demonstrated. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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