Catalytic hydrogen burner/stove development

Hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources is another long-term energy storage option. When no renewable energy is available hydrogen can be converted into electricity and heat using a fuel cell or into heat directly using combustion. Today’s cooking application is mostly relying on electricity. The conversion path from electricity to hydrogen back to electricity and heat is highly inefficient. A direct conversion from electricity to hydrogen to heat is much more efficient. For this reason the direct integration of hydrogen into the cooking application is looked at in our research.

Highly porous SiC plates are coated with platinum as catalyst to ensure a catalytic combustion reaction. In this way, hydrogen can be supplied from the bottom of the porous SiC plate and air from the top (Figure 1a). Fuel and oxidant thus mix only in the porous combustion area. Uncontrolled combustion is prevented and high passive safety measures are reached. Hydrogen is immediately oxidized by the redox reaction of hydrogen with oxygen.

In the development of the hydrogen stove a hydrogen burner as described above was integrated into a specially designed casing and covered with a glass ceramic top (Figure 1b). A heat exchanger was included to preheat the incoming air with the exhaust air leading to a significant improvement in efficiency and reduction in exhaust temperatures. The complete system was installed and tested in SELF, our demonstrator for autonomous living.


Figure 1: a) Schematic of hydrogen burner used for catalytic combustion. b) Hydrogen burner with glass ceramic top integrated in the SELF demonstrator at Empa Campus in Duebendorf.


Selected publications

Fumey, B., Buetler, T., & Vogt, U.F. (2018). Ultra-low NOx emissions from catalytic hydrogen combustion. Applied Energy, 213, 334-342.

Fumey, B., Stoller, S., Fricker, R., Weber, R., Dorer, V., & Vogt, U.F. (2016). Development of a novel cooking stove based on catalytic hydrogen combustion. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 41(18), 7494-7499.