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Hydrogen-generating Reactors And Methods

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Abstract
Reactors and methods that generate hydrogen from fuel, such as naturally-occurring or synthesized hydrocarbon fuel. One embodiment of the reactor comprises a CO2/H2 active membrane piston disposed inside a cylinder that provides for highly efficient and scalable hydrogen generation from hydrocarbon fuels. This embodiment may function in a two or four stroke modes. Another embodiment of the reactor comprises a dual piston configuration having CO2 and H2 active membrane pistons inside a single cylinder. Other embodiments of the reactor comprise flexible membranes or diaphragms that operate in a manner similar to pistons with or without regeneration of residual reaction products. Exemplary methods introduce fuel into a controllable volume, selectively control pressure, temperature and residence time of the fuel within the controllable volume, chemically react the fuel within the controllable volume with one or more catalysts to produce one or more chemical species, selectively remove via a membrane one or more of the chemical species from the controllable volume, and exhaust residual products from the controllable volume.
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7/19/2011
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