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Hydrodynamic Direct Carbon Fuel Cell

[+] Author Affiliations
Valerie J. Bloomfield, Robert Townsend

Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. ES2014-6593, pp. V001T05A006; 5 pages
  • ASME 2014 8th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2014 12th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 1: Combined Energy Cycles, CHP, CCHP, and Smart Grids; Concentrating Solar Power, Solar Thermochemistry and Thermal Energy Storage; Geothermal, Ocean, and Emerging Energy Technologies; Hydrogen Energy Technologies; Low/Zero Emission Power Plants and Carbon Sequestration; Photovoltaics; Wind Energy Systems and Technologies
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, June 30–July 2, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4586-8
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


There are many possibilities for the direct carbon fuel cell approach including hydroxide and molten carbonate electrolytes, solid oxides capable of consuming dry carbon, and hybrids of solid oxide and molten carbonate technologies. The challenges in fabricating this type of fuel cell are many including how to transport the dry solids into the reactant chamber and how to transport the spent fuel (ash) out of the chamber for continuous operation[1]. We accomplish ash removal by utilizing a hydrodynamic approach, where inert gas or steam is injected into the anode chamber causing the carbon particles to circulate. This provides a means of moving the particles to a location where they can be separated or removed from the system. The graphic below illustrates how we segregate the spent fuel from the fresh fuel by creating multiple chambers. Each sequential chamber will have a reduced performance until the fuel is fully spent. At that point, the electrolyte/ash mixture can be removed from the cell area and cleaned for recycling or discarded.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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