Partial oxidation and total oxidation in the reforming of hydrocarbons to hydrogen

FUEL 111

Tapan K. Das, Dady B. Dadyburjor, dady.dadyburjor@mail.wvu.edu, and Edwin L. Kugler, edwin.kugler@mail.wvu.edu. Department of Chemical Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-6102
Two sequences of reactions have been proposed for autothermal reforming. In one, total oxidation of the hydrocarbon occurs first, followed by partial oxidation. In the other, the order is reversed. In either case, water-gas shift, water formation, dehydrogenation and other reactions may also occur. We have used experimental data on the effect of catalyst loading, flow rates and oxygen/hydrocarbon ratio to determine the sequence of reactions for the reforming of propane, with Pt/ceria as the catalyst. Gauss elimination was used to determine the minimum number of independent reactions in this set. The types of products formed and the types of reactions occurring depend upon interactions between reactants, support and noble metal. However, in all cases, partial oxidation occurs first, followed by total oxidation. The amount of the ceria support determines whether there is a net formation or a net loss of water.