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Title: Direct Utilization of Coal Syngas in High Temperature Fuel Cells

This EPSCoR project had two primary goals: (i) to build infrastructure and work force at WVU to support long-term research in the area of fuel cells and related sciences; (ii) study effects of various impurities found in coal-syngas on performance of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC). As detailed in this report the WVU research team has made significant accomplishments in both of these areas. What follows is a brief summary of these accomplishments: State-of-the-art test facilities and diagnostic tools have been built and put into use. These include cell manufacturing, half-cell and full-cell test benches, XPS, XRD, TEM, Raman, EDAX, SEM, EIS, and ESEM equipment, unique in-situ measurement techniques and test benches (Environmental EM, Transient Mass-Spectrometer-MS, and IR Optical Temperature measurements). In addition, computational capabilities have been developed culminating in a multi-scale multi-physics fuel cell simulation code, DREAM-SOFC, as well as a Beowulf cluster with 64 CPU units. We have trained 16 graduate students, 10 postdoctoral fellows, and recruited 4 new young faculty members who have actively participated in the EPSCoR project. All four of these faculty members have already been promoted to the tenured associate professor level. With the help of these faculty and students, we were able tomore » secure 14 research awards/contracts amounting to a total of circa $5.0 Million external funding in closely related areas of research. Using the facilities mentioned above, the effects of PH3, HCl, Cl2, and H2S on cell performance have been studied in detail, mechanisms have been identified, and also remedies have been proposed and demonstrated in the laboratory. For example, it has been determined that PH3 reacts rapidly with Ni to from secondary compounds which may become softer or even melt at high temperature and then induce Ni migration to the surface of the cell changing the material and micro-structural properties of the cell drastically. It is found that the extent of steam and current load accelerate the degradation caused by PH3. A unique filtering technique has been proposed to reduce the effect of PH3. In addition, various cell materials have been proposed to reduce the rate of degradation caused by H2S. Furthermore, a three-dimensional, transient multi-physics model has been formulated to describe primary transport processes and electro-chemical reactions occurring within the cell. This model has been validated using data gathered from accelerated tests. The validated model then has been used to study the degradation rates under a range of operating conditions and impurity levels. This has resulted in a procedure that uses both experiments and simulations to predict the life-time of a cell operating with syngas with known concentration of trace impurities. Finally all the experience and knowledge gained has been disseminated via 39 journal papers and 43 presentations/posters/conference papers.« less
  1. West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Contributing Orgs:
National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Morgantown, WV (United States); West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 08 HYDROGEN; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 42 ENGINEERING Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Coal Syngas, Syngas contaminants, Anode degradation, Remedies for contaminants effects, Contaminant tolerant materials, Phiophine induced anode degradation