The breakdown of the metals in these reactors makes the equipment hard to maintain and increases the cost of the end production. This will allow gases to be kept at higher temperatures throughout the production process which will produce higher yields and less total energy consumption. The researchers estimate that the change could save $500 million to $1.3 billion per year just in the hydrogen production process. The new materials develop oxide scales that protect the surface from carbon attack. In the photo, samples are shown that were exposed to the dusting environment for 5,700 hours at 593° C. The new material is still smooth, while the traditional material is full of pits.
[Source: Argonne National Lab via GreenCarCongress]