Feasibility of Microscale Glucose Reforming for Renewable Hydrogen - Sandia National Laboratories

The goal of the project is to develop a hydrocarbon powered microfuel processor capable of driving an existing microfuel cell. Gas analysis of the gas evolved from glucose breakdown using a quadrupole mass spectrometer is now possible due do significant modifications to the vacuum chamber and to the mass spectrometer electronics.

The mass spectrometer used for analysis of gas evolved from the breakdown of glucose is a Balzars QMA 120 (Balzars-now Pfeiffer Vacuum, Nashua, NH) with a QME 112 mass filter electronics module and a QMS 112 main control module. The mass filter electronics module consists of an RF generator, an ion source supply unit, and an electronic preamplifier control unit. While the main control unit can be used to sweep across the desired mass range and displays the output current corresponding with the quantity of ions detected at a particular mass, it has no method for computer control, data display or data storage. A 24bit data acquisition module (Emant300 DAQ USB module) was used to convert all analog output from the control unit to digital format. The DAQ module can be controlled using a variety of software languages; a C# program already written for this application was used. The programmed software allows for control of the emission current and signal amplification. The sweep rate and sweep range are set using the original control box. The amplified signal height plotted versus mass/charge ratio is obtained and the data can be copied and transferred to any plotting program. The mass spectrometer is now capable of acquiring data.

The interim report provides a summary of the engineering information for microscale reforming of carbohydrates. Work done by Kirsten Norman, Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology for Sandia National Laboratories.