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By Nikolaos G. Georgopoulos

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Based on this table, the assumption of natural gas consisting of 100% methane was made for this study. Due to its low electrochemical reactivity, methane as indeed any other hydrocarbon is typically not to be used directly in the fuel cells, an exception, of course, being Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs). A process such as steam reforming1 is 1 Steam reforming involves catalytic conversion of the hydrocarbon and steam to hydrogen and carbon oxides. The process works only with light hydrocarbons that can be vaporized completely without carbon formation (Kordesch and Simader, 1996).

14. Based on this conceptual depiction, two of the numerous FCS configurations found in the literature are summarized below. , 1999). 15 is found in Kordesch and Simader (1996), and it gives an example of a PEMFC sub-system for cogeneration purposes. The heat needed to drive the endothermic reforming reaction is provided via the external combustion of fuel. The combustion gases leaving the reformer contain appreciable heat energy and are, therefore, used to provide the required steam for the reforming process and to preheat the fuel feed used in the reforming line as well as the reformate gas entering the reformer reactor.

Based on this table, the assumption of natural gas consisting of 100% methane was made for this study. Due to its low electrochemical reactivity, methane as indeed any other hydrocarbon is typically not to be used directly in the fuel cells, an exception, of course, being Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs). A process such as steam reforming1 is 1 Steam reforming involves catalytic conversion of the hydrocarbon and steam to hydrogen and carbon oxides. The process works only with light hydrocarbons that can be vaporized completely without carbon formation (Kordesch and Simader, 1996).

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