Catacel heavy with ‘light’ reformer projects


In the second half of 2013, Catacel Corp. engaged in multiple fuel cell programs to design and build compact fuel reformers using its proprietary catalyst-on-foil technology. These active projects use natural gas and methanol as fuels, use active heat sources or operate adiabatically and cover applications from 5kW backup power to more than 200kW primary power.

“The high level of interest and current range of projects underscore the indisputable benefit and scalability of heat exchanging structured catalyst technology,” says William Whittenberger, PE, president and CTO of Catacel Corp. “Fuel cell system designers and integrators are now, more than ever, recognizing that structured catalyst technology delivers mission-critical fuel efficiency, compact packaging and extended service life advantages. The reductions in pressure drop typical of our technology enable designers to use more conventional, lower-cost blowers and BoP, as well. End of day, reformers designed for structured catalysts meet the performance and cost targets unique to the fuel cell industry far better than conventional ceramic pellet reformers.”

While reformer design and fabrication are in the spotlight right now, Catacel continues to supply structured catalysts to customers worldwide implementing their own in-house reformers.

“We like it best when reformer and catalyst designs are closely integrated from the start, because these systems attain the greatest efficiencies,” says Whittenberger. “Regardless, we engineer our structured catalysts to suit existing reformers now in production. These systems still benefit in terms of efficiency and reliability.”

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© Johnson Matthey 2018