Controlled Hydrogen Peroxide Decomposition for a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Oxidant Source with a Microreactor Model

E. Lennon1, A. Burke2, and R. Besser1
1CBME Department, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, USA
2Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, RI, USA

A microchannel reactor for hydrogen peroxide decomposition is being developed for integration with fuel cell systems that can power undersea vehicles. However, the catalytic decomposition of H2O2 is predisposed to thermal runaway.

A micro-scale packed bed reactor (MPBR), theoretically capable of inhibiting thermal runaway, is under development in COMSOL to illustrate thermal management and oxygen production during this reaction.

The COMSOL model solves mass, energy, and momentum balances to simulate temperature and concentration profiles within the reactor. Using a stainless steel block around the capillary to act as an extended surface for higher heat removal rates and an initial volumetric flow rate of 2e-9 m3/s (about 0.1 ml/min), a temperature rise of less than 8 K was simulated and an outlet concentration of 1716 mol/m3 oxygen was achieved.