A compact catalytic foam reactor for decomposition of ammonia by the Joule-heating mechanism

Arash Badakhsh, Yeonsu Kwak, Yu Jin Lee, Hyangsoo Jeong, Yongmin Kim, Hyuntae Sohn, Suk Woo Nam, Chang Won Yoon, Chan Woo Park*, Young Suk Jo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Ammonia (NH3) is a viable hydrogen (H2) carrier that allows storage and transport of H2 using well-established infrastructure while maintaining high H2 storage density. However, cracking NH3 into H2 is energy-intensive. Herein, direct Joule-heating of the NiCrAl foam catalyst support is suggested and demonstrated, to minimize heat transfer scale for lower reactor volume, higher efficiency and power density than previously reported reformers. The power density of 128 W/cm3Reactor is achieved based on the lower heating value of H2: this is 90% higher than previously reported microreactors. Also, even in a small-scale demonstration with a low internal volume of 7.7 cm3 and a high surface-area-to-volume ratio of 5.7 cm−1, a high reforming efficiency of 69.2% is achieved with low catalyst loadings, showing the feasibility of the concept. The as-proposed reactor concept offers a strong prospect for facile adoption of the power-to-X scheme for numerous applications including H2-fueled islanded networks, and decarbonized energy conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130802
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Early online date19 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2021


  • ammonia decomposition
  • compact reactor design
  • hydrogen production
  • Joule heating
  • metallic foam
  • renewable energies


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