HYDROGEN GENERATION FROM PLASMATRON REFORMERS: A PROMISING TECHNOLOGY FOR NOX ADSORBER REGENERATION AND OTHER AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS

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Plasmatron reformers are being developed at MIT and ArvinMeritor [1]. In these reformers a special low power electrical discharge is used to promote partial oxidation conversion of hydrocarbon fuels into hydrogen and CO. The partial oxidation reaction of this very fuel rich mixture is difficult to initiate. The plasmatron provides continuous enhanced volume initiation. To minimize electrode erosion and electrical power requirements, a low current, high voltage discharge with wide area electrodes is used. The reformers operate at or slightly above atmospheric pressure. Plasmatron reformers provide the advantages of rapid startup and transient response; efficient conversion of the fuel to ... continued below

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7 pages

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Bromberg, L.; Crane, S; Rabinovich, A.; Kong, Y; Cohn, D; Heywood, J et al. August 24, 2003.

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Plasmatron reformers are being developed at MIT and ArvinMeritor [1]. In these reformers a special low power electrical discharge is used to promote partial oxidation conversion of hydrocarbon fuels into hydrogen and CO. The partial oxidation reaction of this very fuel rich mixture is difficult to initiate. The plasmatron provides continuous enhanced volume initiation. To minimize electrode erosion and electrical power requirements, a low current, high voltage discharge with wide area electrodes is used. The reformers operate at or slightly above atmospheric pressure. Plasmatron reformers provide the advantages of rapid startup and transient response; efficient conversion of the fuel to hydrogen rich gas; compact size; relaxation or elimination of reformer catalyst requirements; and capability to process difficult to reform fuels, such as diesel and bio-oils. These advantages facilitate use of onboard hydrogen-generation technology for diesel exhaust after-treatment. Plasma-enhanced reformer technology can provide substantial conversion even without the use of a catalyst. Recent progress includes a substantial decrease in electrical power consumption (to about 200 W), increased flow rate (above 1 g/s of diesel fuel corresponding to approximately 40 kW of chemical energy), soot suppression and improvements in other operational features.. Plasmatron reformer technology has been evaluated for regeneration of NOx adsorber after-treatment systems. At ArvinMeritor tests were performed on a dual-leg NOx adsorber system using a Cummins 8.3L diesel engine both in a test cell and on a vehicle. A NOx adsorber system was tested using the plasmatron reformer as a regenerator and without the reformer i.e., with straight diesel fuel based regeneration as the baseline case. The plasmatron reformer was shown to improve NOx regeneration significantly compared to the baseline diesel case. The net result of these initial tests was a significant decrease in fuel penalty, roughly 50% at moderate adsorber temperatures. This fuel penalty improvement is accompanied by a dramatic drop in slipped hydrocarbon emissions, which decreased by 90% or more. Significant advantages are demonstrated across a wide range of engine conditions and temperatures. The study also indicated the potential to regenerate NOx adsorbers at low temperatures where diesel fuel based regeneration is not effective, such as those typical of idle conditions. Two vehicles, a bus and a light duty truck, have been equipped for plasmatron reformer NOx adsorber regeneration tests.

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7 pages

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OSTI as DE00829856

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  • 9th Diesel Engine Emissions Reduction (DEER) Workshop 2003, Newport, RI (US), 08/24/2003--08/28/2003; Other Information: Hydrogen Generation from Plasmatron Reformers and Use for Diesel Exhaust Aftertreatment

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  • Report No.: CONF-200308--137
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 829856
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc783536

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  • August 24, 2003

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • June 13, 2016, 2:28 p.m.

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Bromberg, L.; Crane, S; Rabinovich, A.; Kong, Y; Cohn, D; Heywood, J et al. HYDROGEN GENERATION FROM PLASMATRON REFORMERS: A PROMISING TECHNOLOGY FOR NOX ADSORBER REGENERATION AND OTHER AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS, article, August 24, 2003; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc783536/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.