Journal of Nanomaterials
Typical microcombustion-based power devices entail the use of catalyst to sustain combustion in less than millimeter scale channels. This work explores the use of several other candidate fuels for ∼8 nm diameter Pt particle catalyzed combustion within 800 ��m channel width cordierite substrates. The results demonstrate while commercial hydrocarbon fuels such as methane, propane, butane, and ethanol can be used to sustain catalytic combustion, room temperature ignition was only observed using methanolair mixtures. Fuels, other than methanol, required preheating at temperatures >200∘ C, yet repeated catalytic cycling similar to methanol-air mixtures was demonstrated. Subsequently, a new reactor design was investigated to couple with thermoelectric generators. The modified reactor design enabled ignition of methanol-air mixtures at room temperature with the ability to achieve repeat catalytic cycles. Preliminary performance studies achieved a maximum temperature difference Δ�� of 55∘ C with a flow rate of 800 mL/min. While the temperature difference indicates a respectable potential for power generation, reduced exhaust temperature and improved thermal management could significantly enhance the eventual device performance.
McNally, D., Agnello, M., Pastore, B., Applegate, J., Westphal, E., and Bakrania, S.D. (2015). A study of fuel and reactor design for platinum nanoparticle catalyzed microreactors. Journal of Nanomaterials 2015, 538752.
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