Hydrogen Made from Biodiesel Using Steam Reformer

InnovaTek and Seattle BioFuels announce the first successful production of hydrogen from 100% biodiesel in a microchannel steam reformer. This is the first time a renewable fuel source has been used to produce hydrogen in a microchannel steam reformer to power emission-free fuel cells. InnovaTek’s reforming system was initially developed to produce hydrogen from fossil fuels.

In addition to biodiesel, InnovaTek has also used its technology to produce hydrogen from glycerol (a byproduct of biodiesel production), and the raw soybean oil that is used to manufacture the biodiesel fuel. The use of glycerol as a source for hydrogen has the additional advantage of producing a valuable commodity from a byproduct of biodiesel production. This benefit contributes favorably to the economics of biodiesel as a fuel that is competitive with petroleum diesel fuel. InnovaTek successfully demonstrated the ability to generate hydrogen from pure biodiesel (B100) produced at the Seattle Biodiesel production facility. One of the advantages of InnovaTek’s technology is the use of micro- or millichannel geometries for the catalytic reactor and heat exchangers. Microchannel reactors offer some distinct advantages over conventional reactors (tubular or vessel), including inherent safety, compact size and high conversion rates. The microchannel reformer achieved a 100% conversion rate of the pure biodiesel (B100). “The demonstration of the InnovaGen fuel processor with renewable liquid fuels further establishes the flexibility and value of InnovaTek’s technology for sustainable power production,” said Patricia Irving, CEO and founder of InnovaTek. “We are committed to the development and commercialization of innovative products that will reduce emissions and offer viable alternatives to petroleum.” InnovaTek’s InnovaGen fuel processor, which can be used for a broad range of fuel choices, both liquid and gaseous, has been demonstrated to efficiently produce hydrogen from diesel, jet fuel, biodiesel, vegetable oil, glycerol, gasoline, propane, natural gas and methanol. Seattle BioFuels claims to be the first company in the Pacific Northwest to open and operate a commercial scale (>5 mgy) biodiesel refinery certified by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). Using proprietary technology, the company produces a diesel fuel alternative made from vegetable oil.

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