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Method and apparatus for converting hydrocarbon fuel into hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide

United States Patent

6,126,908
October 3, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
An apparatus and a method are disclosed for converting hydrocarbon fuel or an alcohol into hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide. The apparatus includes a first vessel having a partial oxidation reaction zone and a separate steam reforming reaction zone that is distinct from the partial oxidation reaction zone. The first vessel has a first vessel inlet at the partial oxidation reaction zone and a first vessel outlet at the steam reforming zone. The reformer also includes a helical tube extending about the first vessel. The helical tube has a first end connected to an oxygen-containing source and a second end connected to the first vessel at the partial oxidation reaction zone. Oxygen gas from an oxygen-containing source can be directed through the helical tube to the first vessel. A second vessel having a second vessel inlet and second vessel outlet is annularly disposed about the first vessel. The helical tube is disposed between the first vessel and the second vessel and gases from the first vessel can be directed through second vessel.
Clawson; Lawrence G. (Dover, MA), Mitchell; William L. (Belmont, MA), Bentley; Jeffrey M. (Westford, MA), Thijssen; Johannes H.J. (Cambridge, MA)
Arthur D. Little, Inc. (Cambridge, MA)
08/ 703,398
August 26, 1996
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS The Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC02-92CE50343, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.