We constructed a reformer of methane based on an electrochemical principle. This apparatus consists of the proton conducting ceramics electrolyte and the hydrogen-permeable metal membrane cathode. For methane reforming, a mixture of methane and oxygen gas is supplied to the porous Ag cathode. The hydrogen ions, which formed by the anode reaction: CH4 + O2 → CO2 + 4H+ + 4e-, are transported through the proton conducting ceramics to the cathode. Then, the hydrogen is formed at the cathode by the reaction: 4H+ + 4e- → 2H2. The hydrogen, which permeates through the metal membrane cathode, is 100% purity. The hydrogen separation ability of the reformer was investigated at 400-650 °C by measuring the electric current through the proton conducting oxide electrolyte. Since the ionic transport number of the proton conducting oxide is nearly unity, the current through the electrolyte corresponds to the proton flux through the electrolyte. The current measurements showed that the extracted proton flux through the electrolyte increased with increasing the applied voltage as well as temperature as we expected. However, the current measurements under the low voltage revealed that the extracted current was lesser than the expected value from Ohm's law. The decrease of the current is possibly caused for the reduction of the effective voltage by the anode polarization. In order to separate the hydrogen with higher efficiency, the applied voltage must be as low as possible using the thinner electrolyte and the improved anode.
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