μChemPower - MURI Microchemical Systems for Fuel Processing and Conversion to Electrical Power

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A multidisciplinary research program aimed at developing a fundamental understanding of the different physical phenomena underlying fuel processing at millimeter to micron scale as well as to establish the engineering principles needed to realize portable electrical power generation from hydrocarbon fuels. Competing approaches to fuel conversions are addressed with particular emphasis on two basic strategies: (i) conversion of hydrocarbons to hydrogen by partial oxidation, reforming, and product separation steps; and (ii) direct conversion of hydrocarbon fuels in a microfabricated solid oxide fuel (SOFC) cell system integrated with microfluidic controls. The expected power level for the devices in this proposal will be on the order of 0.1-1 W, with potential of straight-forward scale up to 10 W through parallel operation. Both gaseous and liquid hydrocarbon fuels will be considered..