Supercritical Water Reformation Unit

Sustainable Energy and Advanced Materials (SEAM) Laboratory

Front View of the Supercritical Water Reformation Unit.

The state of the art supercritical water reformation (SWR) unit comprises of an 8 ft by 4 ft by 4 ft steel enclosure which is caster mounted. The supercritical water unit is comprised of three reactors: a supercritical water reactor, an acid gas removal packed bed reactor, and a catalyzed water gas shift reactor. The front of the enclosure has operator accessible valves, pressure gauges, water reserviors, and booster pump control. A computerized data acquisition and control system controls heaters, reactor pressure, air feed rate to the reactor, and pump actuation. In addition the data aquistion and control system queries and records temperature at 20 different locations within the experimental process unit and pressure at five different locations. While in operation the interior of the unit is inaccessible.

Generation II Reactor: 400 mL Haynes Alloy 230 plug flow reactor, Parr Instrument Company
Generation II Reactor MAWP: 5250 psig at 800°C
Generation I Reactor: 1000 mL Inconel 625 Grade 1 plug flow reactor, Parr Instrument Company
Generation I Reactor MAWP: 5000 psig at 650°C
Modes of Operation: Continuous
Working Fluid: Supercritical Water, supercritical water and air, reformable fuel as feedstock.
Pressure Development: Booster pump (pneumatically driven compressor) and micrometering pumps
Control and Aquisiton: Computer based data aquisition and control
Principle Applications: Supercritical water reformation of fuels to hydrogen. Supercritical water fromation of biofuels to hydrogen. Fuel feedstocks included military logistic fuel (JP-8), civilian aviation fuel (Jet-A), diesel, kerosene, methane, methanol, ethanol, along with other hydrocarbons.

400 mL Haynes Alloy 230 Supercritical Water Reformation Reactor and heater mounted at an incline inside the experimental process unit's enclosure.

In interior of the enclosure for the superciritcal water reformation unit is the 400 mL Haynes Alloy 230 reactor, acid gas removal reactor, water gas shift reactor, pneumatically driven booster pump, electro-pneumatically actuated control valves, mass flow meter for air feed, and pressure diffusion drum. In addition there are two combustion monitors to detect possible combustible gas and liquid leaks which alerts the data acquisition and control system and operator.

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