In chemistry, a partial oxidation reaction occurs when a substoichiometric fuel-air mixture is partially combusted in a reformer, creating a hydrogen-rich syngas, which can then be put to further use, for example in a fuel cell.
A distinction is made between thermal partial oxidation (TPOX) and catalytic partial oxidation (CPOX). TPOX reactions, which are dependent on the air-fuel ratio, proceed at temperatures of 1200°C and above. In CPOX the use of a catalyst reduces the required temperature to around 800°C - 900°C. The choice of reforming technique depends on the sulfur content of the fuel being used. CPOX can be employed if the sulfur content is below 50 ppm. A higher sulfur content would poison the catalyst, so the TPOX procedure is used for such fuels.
- Much of this article is translated from the German wikipedia article of 21st March 2007.de:Partielle Oxidation
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