Fuel cells are clean and efficient and widely applicable in the context of a hydrogen economy. Today, much effort is focused on the efficient production of hydrogen (H2) for fuel cells. Traditionally, H2 is produced by steam methane reforming (SMR). However, this high-temperature process is strongly endothermic and product purification is costly. As a substitute, a milder one-step CO2 sorption-assisted steam reforming process is more attractive. Sorption enhanced-steam methane reforming (SESMR) produces high-purity H2 in a single sorption-enhanced reactor. Usually, SESMR uses mixtures of the reforming catalyst (such as Ni or Co) and CO2-capturing chemisorbent (e.g., calcium oxides, promoted hydrotalcite and alkali metal ceramics). Instead, hybrid bi-functional materials, which combine the benefits of the catalyst and sorbent, are also used. If the feedstock is derived from renewable resources such as biomass, the reforming process is CO2-neutral. Here, our recent work on SESMR will be briefly highlighted.Also, our work on steam reforming (SR) and sorption-enhanced reforming (SER) of biomass surrogates (such as bio-ethanol, bio-butanol, glycerol, bio-oil and bio-gas) will be discussed. Finally, a new liquid-phase,low-temperature reforming process called catalytic aqueous-phase reforming (APR) will be discussed in the context of effective valorisation of aqueous biomass streams. This will improve our
understanding of the reforming processes of biomass surrogates for superior H2 production.
Dr. Prakash Vaidya is Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai. He is an expert in catalysis, reaction engineering and separations. His research interests are biomass conversions, CO2 capturing and recycling, and wastewater treatment. So far, he has authored 90 research papers and 2 patents, and guided 24 PhD scholars. He has generated lot of research funds up to now, and is presently working on 5 research projects related to sustainability. He has been a Humboldtian, Liverpool University’s India Fellow and Fellow of the Maharashtra Academy of Sciences.
This seminar is compulsory for students registered for course CL 702 or CL 704.