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Fuel of the Future? Is Your Hydrogen Pure Enough?

Martin Perkins

15th May 2018

Dimethoxymethane, Formaldehyde, FTIR, Fuel, GC-MS, Hydrogen, International Journal of Hydrogen Enery, Methanol, Sean O'Connor, Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry, SIFT-MS,


Earlier this year, Mark Perkins, one of our SIFT-MS specialists took our SIFT-MS to work with Thomas Bacquart and his team at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

The overall objective for the project was to measure and understand the formation of formaldehyde in steam methane reforming process.

The work used FTIR, GC-MS and SIFT-MS to measure the formaldehyde and its degradation products (methanol and dimethoxymethane) in gravimetrically prepared standards. They showed that the standards had a shelf life of 8 weeks (stability uncertainty of <10%, k=1).  The degradation, however, was shown to be more rapid than expected by the thermodynamics which was suspected to be because of the internal surface of the cylinder acting as a catalyst.

The work also showed that SIFT-MS alongside other techniques can give unique data being able to measure formaldehyde directly.

Recently, a paper was published covering the work in International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, which you can read here.