Hydrogen fuel from renewable bio-ethanol is a potentially strong contender as an energy carrier. Its distributed production by steam reforming of ethanol on microscale platforms is an efficient upcoming method. Such systems require (a) a pre-heater for liquid to vapor conversion of ethanol water mixtures (b) a gas-phase catalytic reactor. We focus on the fundamental experimental heat transfer studies (pool and flow boiling of ethanol-water mixtures) required for the primary pre-heater boiler design. Flow boiling results (in a 256 μm square channel) clearly show the influence of mixture composition. Heat transfer coefficient remains almost constant in the single-phase region and rapidly increases as the two-phase region starts. On further increasing the wall superheat, heat transfer starts to decrease. At higher applied heat flux, the channel is subjected to axial back conduction from the single-phase vapor region to the two-phase liquid-vapor region, thus raising local wall temperatures. Simultaneously, to gain understanding of phase-change mechanisms in binary mixtures and to generate data for the modeling of flow boiling process, pool-boiling of ethanol-water mixtures has also been initiated. After benchmarking the setup against pure fluids, variation of heat transfer coefficient, bubble growth, contact angles, are compared at different operating conditions. Results show strong degradation in heat transfer in mixtures, which increases with operating temperature.

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