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Ethanol Transport and Chemistry in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

[+] Author Affiliations
James M. Daggett, Neal P. Sullivan, Robert J. Kee, Huayang Zhu, Anthony M. Dean

Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

Paper No. FuelCell2008-65229, pp. 453-460; 8 pages
  • ASME 2008 6th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2008 6th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, June 16–18, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4318-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3822-6
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


Biofuels are receiving significant interest as a source for sustainable, locally produced hydrocarbon fuels. While solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) can operate efficiently on biomass fuel streams, their use can prove problematic if process conditions are not carefully monitored, as carbon-deposit formation presents a significant risk. In this study, we examine the chemistry and transport processes underway when SOFC anodes are exposed to ethanol-steam mixtures. Through use of a unique Separated-Anode Experiment, this study decouples anode chemistry processes from charge-transfer, cathode-activation, and other electrochemical processes in an effort to focus on ethanol decomposition in SOFC environments. Experiments are combined with numerical simulations that include Dusty-Gas transport modeling within the anode pore structure, and elementary, multi-step heterogeneous and homogeneous chemical kinetics mechanisms representing fuel conversion within the anode. Process windows for deposit-free operation are postulated, and alternate anode architectures that minimize the risk of deposit formation are discussed.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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