Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell technology is
expected to be one of the most environmental friendly next
generation power source. The related hydrogen generating unit should satisfy some features, namely high fuel conversion, stable performance for repeated start-up and shut-down cycles, capability to process different hydrocarbons or alcohol.
Therefore, the preparation of highly active catalysts is a
fundamental key issue to implementation of the fuel processor technologies. In this paper, as a part of development and testing of a LPG reforming systems for integration with PEM fuel cell, we investigated the C3H8 autothermal reforming (ATR) over a Pt/CeO2 catalyst prepared by combustion synthesis technique.
The catalytic activity as a function of O2/C3H8, H2O/C3H8,
reaction temperature and gas hourly space velocity has been
evaluated in microscale tests. The main goal of these
experiments has been to define the operating parameters in
order to assure higher activity and stability for prolonged startup and shut-down cycles, basic elements for the fuel processor realization. Moreover, the preliminary results of a 2 kWe hydrogen generator unit (HYGen I), operating on propane, where the Pt/CeO2 prepared catalyst was used in the autothermal reforming step, have been reported.