David Davieau’s award-winning master’s thesis, “An Analysis of Space Velocity and Aspect Ratio Parameters in Steam-Reforming Hydrogen Production Reactors,” investigates the role of reactor geometry in hydrogen production.
Davieau’s work has challenged some of the basic assumptions used when designing a typical steam reformer, says his advisor, Professor Paul Erickson. “The main thrust of this work is that actual dimensional geometry plays a significant, if not dominant, role in reactor performance through heat transfer,” Erickson says. Davieau experimentally showed that the current non-dimensional parameters are insufficient to capture the desired scaling of steam reformers and his thesis suggests parameters which may be used with success. His findings have direct implications for hydrogen used in transportation and may enable small-scale reformers to be applied in on-site or on-board vehicle applications.
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