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Title: Operation of a solid oxide fuel cell on biodiesel with a partial oxidation reformer

Abstract

The National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Office of Research & Development (NETL/ORD) has successfully demonstrated the operation of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) using reformed biodiesel. The biodiesel for the project was produced and characterized by West Virginia State University (WVSU). This project had two main aspects: 1) demonstrate a catalyst formulation on monolith for biodiesel fuel reforming; and 2) establish SOFC stack test stand capabilities. Both aspects have been completed successfully. For the first aspect, in–house patented catalyst specifications were developed, fabricated and tested. Parametric reforming studies of biofuels provided data on fuel composition, catalyst degradation, syngas composition, and operating parameters required for successful reforming and integration with the SOFC test stand. For the second aspect, a stack test fixture (STF) for standardized testing, developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) for the Solid Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Program, was engineered and constructed at NETL. To facilitate the demonstration of the STF, NETL employed H.C. Starck Ceramics GmbH & Co. (Germany) anode supported solid oxide cells. In addition, anode supported cells, SS441 end plates, and cell frames were transferred from PNNL to NETL. The stack assembly and conditioning procedures, including stack welding andmore » sealing, contact paste application, binder burn-out, seal-setting, hot standby, and other stack assembly and conditioning methods were transferred to NETL. In the future, fuel cell stacks provided by SECA or other developers could be tested at the STF to validate SOFC performance on various fuels. The STF operated on hydrogen for over 1000 hrs before switching over to reformed biodiesel for 100 hrs of operation. Combining these first two aspects led to demonstrating the biodiesel syngas in the STF. A reformer was built and used to convert 0.5 ml/min of biodiesel into mostly hydrogen and carbon monoxide (syngas.) The syngas was fed to the STF and fuel cell stack. The results presented in this experimental report document one of the first times a SOFC has been operated on syngas from reformed biodiesel.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, and Morgantown, WV (United States). In-house Research; National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, and Morgantown, WV (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1013660
Report Number(s):
NETL-TPR-2943
TRN: US201110%%780
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Proceedings of the ASME 2010 Eighth International Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology Conference, Brooklyn, NY, June 14-16, 2010
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; ANODES; BINDERS; BIOFUELS; CARBON MONOXIDE; CATALYSTS; CERAMICS; ENERGY CONVERSION; FUEL CELLS; HYDROGEN; OXIDATION; OXIDES; PERFORMANCE; PLATES; SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELLS; SPECIFICATIONS; TESTING; WELDING

Citation Formats

Siefert, N, Shekhawat, D., Gemmen, R., and Berry, D.. Operation of a solid oxide fuel cell on biodiesel with a partial oxidation reformer. United States: N. p., 2010. Web.
Siefert, N, Shekhawat, D., Gemmen, R., & Berry, D.. Operation of a solid oxide fuel cell on biodiesel with a partial oxidation reformer. United States.
Siefert, N, Shekhawat, D., Gemmen, R., and Berry, D.. 2010. "Operation of a solid oxide fuel cell on biodiesel with a partial oxidation reformer". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_1013660,
title = {Operation of a solid oxide fuel cell on biodiesel with a partial oxidation reformer},
author = {Siefert, N, Shekhawat, D. and Gemmen, R. and Berry, D.},
abstractNote = {The National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Office of Research & Development (NETL/ORD) has successfully demonstrated the operation of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) using reformed biodiesel. The biodiesel for the project was produced and characterized by West Virginia State University (WVSU). This project had two main aspects: 1) demonstrate a catalyst formulation on monolith for biodiesel fuel reforming; and 2) establish SOFC stack test stand capabilities. Both aspects have been completed successfully. For the first aspect, in–house patented catalyst specifications were developed, fabricated and tested. Parametric reforming studies of biofuels provided data on fuel composition, catalyst degradation, syngas composition, and operating parameters required for successful reforming and integration with the SOFC test stand. For the second aspect, a stack test fixture (STF) for standardized testing, developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) for the Solid Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Program, was engineered and constructed at NETL. To facilitate the demonstration of the STF, NETL employed H.C. Starck Ceramics GmbH & Co. (Germany) anode supported solid oxide cells. In addition, anode supported cells, SS441 end plates, and cell frames were transferred from PNNL to NETL. The stack assembly and conditioning procedures, including stack welding and sealing, contact paste application, binder burn-out, seal-setting, hot standby, and other stack assembly and conditioning methods were transferred to NETL. In the future, fuel cell stacks provided by SECA or other developers could be tested at the STF to validate SOFC performance on various fuels. The STF operated on hydrogen for over 1000 hrs before switching over to reformed biodiesel for 100 hrs of operation. Combining these first two aspects led to demonstrating the biodiesel syngas in the STF. A reformer was built and used to convert 0.5 ml/min of biodiesel into mostly hydrogen and carbon monoxide (syngas.) The syngas was fed to the STF and fuel cell stack. The results presented in this experimental report document one of the first times a SOFC has been operated on syngas from reformed biodiesel.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2010,
month = 1
}

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  • Rural Alaska currently uses diesel generator sets to produce much of its power. The high energy content of diesel (i.e. ~140,000 BTU per gallon) makes it the fuel of choice because this reduces the volume of fuel that must be transported, stored, and consumed in generating the power. There is an existing investment in infrastructure for the distribution and use of diesel fuel. Problems do exist, however, in that diesel generators are not very efficient in their use of diesel, maintenance levels can be rather high as systems age, and the environmental issues related to present diesel generators are ofmore » concern. The Arctic Energy Technology Development Laboratory at the University of Alaska -- Fairbanks is sponsoring a project to address the issues mentioned above. The project takes two successful systems, a diesel reformer and a tubular solid oxide fuel cell unit, and jointly tests those systems with the objective of producing a for-purpose diesel fueled solid oxide fuel cell system that can be deployed in rural Alaska. The reformer will convert the diesel to a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen that can be used as a fuel by the fuel cell. The high temperature nature of the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC is capable of using this mixture to generate electricity and provide usable heat with higher efficiency and lower emissions. The high temperature nature of the SOFC is more compatible with the arctic climate than are low temperature technologies such as the proton exchange membrane fuel cells. This paper will look at the interaction of a SOFC system that is designed to internally reform methane and a catalytic partial oxidation (CPOX) diesel reformer. The diesel reformer produces a reformate that is approximately 140 BTU per scf (after removal of much of the reformate water) as compared to a methane based reformate that is over twice that value in BTU content. The project also considers the effect of altitude since the test location will be at 4800 feet with the consequential drop in oxygen content and necessary increases in flow rates.« less
  • abstract not available at this time
  • A bench-scale partial oxidation reformer that is compact (1.8 L) and light-weight has been demonstrated with methanol fuel. The hydrogen output from the reactor had a lower heating value of 12kW. The gas contained over 50% hydrogen and less than 1% carbon monoxide. A novel class of catalyst materials has been identified which is able to convert various hydrocarbons, including gasoline, to a hydrogen-rich product gas. Tested in a microreactor with gasoline and oxygen at 760 C, these catalysts yielded a product gas containing over 60% hydrogen.
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