Reactor technology options for distributed hydrogen generation via ammonia decomposition: a review

20 July 2015

Hydrogen (H2) fuel obtained via thermo-catalytic ammonia (NH3) decomposition is rapidly attracting considerable interest for portable and distributed power generation systems. Consequently, a variety of reactor technologies are being developed in view of the current lack of infrastructure to generate H2 for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. This paper provides an extensive review of the state-of-the-art reactor technology (also referred to as reactor infrastructure) for pure NH3 decomposition. The review strategy is to survey the open literature and present reactor technology developments in a chronological order. The primary objective of this paper is to provide a condensed viewpoint and basis for future advances in reactor technology for generating H2 via NH3 decomposition. Also, this review highlights the prominent issues and prevailing challenges that are yet to be overcome for possible market entry and subsequent commercialization of various reactor technologies. To our knowledge, this work presents for the first time a review of reactor infrastructure for distributed H2 generation via NH3 decomposition. Despite commendable research and development progress, substantial effort is still required if commercialization of NH3 decomposition reactor infrastructure is to be realized.