Green Car Congress, 19 June 2006, http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/06/chinese_demonst.html
Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) have successfully integrated a CO-resistant proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system with a methanol reformer as the hydrogen source to produce steady power generation for 3 hours.
The fuel cell generated maximum power output of 75.5kW, with the methanol reformer providing a stable hydrogen supply of 70.5 Nm3/hr. The reformed gas contained 53 vol% hydrogen, and CO content was around 20 ppm.
This showed that the fuel cell system could adapt to hydrogen generated by methanol reformers and contained trace amount of CO, according to the researchers.
The purpose of the project was to determine the feasibility of using in-situ hydrogen generation with a PEM fuel cell; the combination of a fuel cell with an on-board reformer can be used in a vehicle.
Several automakers have experimented with on-board methanol reforming to provide hydrogen for a fuel cell.
DaimlerChrysler most recently coupled an on-board methanol reformer with a fuel cell in its NECAR 5 prototype, introduced in 2000. The entire drive system, including the methanol reformer, was compact enough to fit into the underfloor of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
In 2002, NECAR 5 clocked up a long-distance record for a fuel-cell-powered vehicle of 5,250 kilometers (3,263 miles) when it completed a transAmerican journey from San Francisco to Washington.
The NECAR 5 fuel-cell stack delivered 75 kW of power. The car had a top speed of more than 145 kmh (90 mph), and a range of more than 400 milometers (250 miles).