Hydrogen seems to be one of the most promising alternative energy sources. It is a renewable fuel as it could be produced from e.g. waste or bio-ethanol. Furthermore hydrogen is compatible with fuel cells and is environmentally clean. In contrast to conventional methods of hydrogen production such as water electrolysis or coal gasification we propose a method based on atmospheric pressure microwave plasma. In this paper we present results of the experimental investigations of hydrogen production from ethanol in the atmospheric pressure plasma generated in waveguide-supplied cylindrical type nozzleless microwave (2.45 GHz) plasma source (MPS). Nitrogen was used as a working gas. All experimental tests were performed with the nitrogen flow rate Q ranged from 1500 to 3900 NL h-1 and absorbed microwave power PA up to 5 kW. Ethanol was introduced into the plasma using the induction heating vaporizer. The process resulted in an ethanol conversion rate greater than 99%. The hydrogen production rate was up to 728 NL[H2] h-1 and the energy efficiency was 178 NL[H2] per kWh of absorbed microwave energy.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.