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H2 Production via Shock-Wave Reforming

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There is currently great interest in the development of technologies to efficiently and cleanly generate hydrogen (H2) and other high-value byproducts from hydrogen-containing fuels (e.g., methane/natural gas or ammonia).

Shock-wave reforming (SWR) is one such process gaining attention as a promising alternative to the more common catalytic or electrochemical conversion techniques. SWR generates H2 through compression-induced pyrolysis: high-pressure gas is used to generate a shock wave, which heats the fuel of interest (e.g., CH4) to high temperature and pressure, causing it to break apart into gaseous species and carbonaceous particulates. This novel reforming approach requires no H2O and produces no direct CO2 emissions, making it an ideal candidate for clean, efficient H2 production. Ongoing research efforts aim to better understand the kinetics governing the fuel-rich pyrolysis process, optimize H2 production yields, and probe the morphology of carbon produced via SWR.