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Microcombustion attracts interest with its promise of energy dense power generation for electronics. Yet, challenges remain to develop this technology further. Thermal management of heat losses is a known hurdle. Simultaneously, non-uniformities in heat release within the reaction regions also affect the device performance. Therefore a combination of thermal management strategies are necessary for further performance enhancements. Here, a bench top platinum nanoparticle based microcombustion reactor, coupled with thermoelectric generators is used. Methanol-air mixtures achieve room temperature ignition within a catalytic cartridge. In the current study, the reactor design is modified to incorporate two traditional thermal management strategies. By limiting enthalpic losses through the exhaust and reactor sides, using multi-pass preheating channels and heat recirculation, expected improvements are achieved. The combined strategies doubled the power output to 1.01 W when compared to the previous design. Furthermore, a preliminary study of catalyst distribution is presented to mitigate non-uniform catalytic activity within the substrate. To do this, tailored distribution of catalyst particles was investigated. This investigation shows a proof-of-concept to achieve localized control, thus management, over heat generation within substrates. By optimizing heat generation, a highly refined combustion-based portable power devices can be envisioned.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.