The water-gas shift (WGS) reaction is an important step in the purification of hydrogen for fuel cells. It lowers the carbon monoxide content and produces extra hydrogen. The constraints of automotive applications render the commercial WGS catalysts unsuitable. Pt/ceria catalysts are cited as promising catalysts for onboard applications as they are highly active and non-pyrophoric. This paper reports on a power law rate expression for a Pt/CeO 2/Al 2O 3 catalyst. This rate equation is used to compare different reactor configurations for an onboard water-gas shift reactor. A one-dimensional heterogeneous model that accounts for the interfacial and intraparticle gradients has been used to optimize a dual stage adiabatic monolith reactor.