Catalytic Combustion of Hydrogen for Residential Heat Supply Application

Significance Statement

Various means of deriving energy from hydrogen has been effectively studied as it serves as an important source of renewable energy. One of the means which involves catalytic combustion of hydrogen offers several advantages such as low temperature combustion and favorable heat supply.

Incorporation of a platinum catalyst in catalytic combustion of hydrogen achieves a low temperature process which is far more preferable for domestic heat supply uses. Despite this, there requires more knowledge on provision of a basic design of a catalytic hydrogen burner and an effective heat supply system at low temperatures.

Researchers at China Jiliang University designed an industrial-scale heat acquisition system based on hydrogen catalytic combustion with the aim of obtaining an improved combustion and heat efficiency coupled with a reduced effect of hydrogen combustion in air. The research work is now published in International Journal of Energy Research.

The authors synthesized 1wt% platinum catalyst in glass fiber felts via a wet impregnation process before installing them into a catalytic hydrogen burner of a stainless steel reactor with heat capacity of 1KW. The authors further fabricated a prototype heat supply based on the hydrogen catalytic combustion.

A stable heat supply by the simple regulation of hydrogen-to-air ratio became founding. The catalytic hydrogen burner was also capable of attaining a hydrogen conversion rate of 100% at different hydrogen-to-air ratio with respect to time.

Following authors’ fabrication of the prototype heat supply system, a heating efficiency of 82% found at the stable phase. This obtained efficiency was higher than that of the previously reported ones involving the catalytic hydrogen combustion process. The result also shows that an adequate heat supply could be gotten from the proposed catalytic hydrogen burner which would be of relevance to residential heat supply applications.

In addition to the required features attained, inhibition of catalytic hydrogen combustor which occurs at very low temperature as a result of presence of platinum catalyst could also be resolved during the cooling process of the burner.

Catalytic Combustion of Hydrogen for Residential Heat Supply Application - Renewable Energy Global Innovations
Schematic diagram of the prototype heat supply system based on hydrogen catalytic combustion (1-air compressor; 2-hydrogen supply unit based on metal hydride storage pack; 3-flow rate controller; 4-pre-mixed chamber; 5-catalytic burner; 6-Pt loaded glass fiber felt catalyst; 7-aluminum clapboard; 8- thermocouples; 9-heat exchanger; 10-water tank; 11-system controller)

About the author

Dr. Yuexiang Huang is currently a professor at China Jiliang University. He received his BSc degree in 1987 from Zhejiang University, and his PhD in 1998 from University of Aveiro, Portugal. He carried out postdoctoral research in Shanghai Institute of Metallurgy, Chinese Academy of Sciences, from 1999 to 2001. Since 2001, he then worked as a general manager in Tianjin Highland Energy Technology Development Co. Ltd, mainly responsible for the development of hydrogen storage alloys and its systems for fuel cells. In November 2007, he joined China Jiliang University.

He has received several awards, including the Elite returned postdoctor by Shanghai Personnel Bureau (2000), the K.C. Wong Education Foundation of Hong Kong (2000), the special-subsidized specialist by the State Council (2004), and the Third Prize for Progress in Science & Technology of Tianjin (2010) and the Third Prize of Natural Science Award of Zhejiang Province (2016).

His current research interests include the design and synthesis of functional energy materials for energy conversion and storage and environmental treatment, as well as the technological design for hydrogen energy applications.


Wang, S., Chen, L., Niu, F., Chen, D., Qin, L., Sun, X., Huang, Y. Catalytic combustion of hydrogen for residential heat supply application, International Journal of Energy Research 40 (2016) 1979-1985.

College of Materials Science and Engineering, China Jiliang University, Hangzhou 310018, Zhejiang, China.

Go To International Journal of Energy Research

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