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Self-Sustained Partial Oxidation of N-Butane Triggered by a Hybrid Start-Up Process for Micro-SOFC Devices

[+] Author Affiliations
Alejandro J. Santis-Alvarez, Majid Nabavi, Dimos Poulikakos

ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Paper No. IMECE2011-62043, pp. 471-476; 6 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5490-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Micro-solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power plants are emerging as a promising alternative for power generation for portable applications due to their low emission of pollutants, high power density and fuel flexibility. Some of the challenges for developing such micro-SOFC power plants are geometrical compactness, fast start-up and self-sustainability at operating conditions. In this work, we present a hybrid start-up process for a micro-SOFC power plant using catalytic oxidation of n-butane over Rh-doped Ce0.5 Zr0.5 O2 nanoparticles in a small-scale reactor to provide the necessary intermediate operating temperature (500–550 °C) and syngas (CO + H2 ) as fuel for a micro-SOFC membrane. A short heating wire is used to generate the heat required to trigger the oxidative reaction. The hybrid start-up is investigated for partial oxidation (POX) and total oxidation (TOX) ratios at one specified flow rate. Additionally, the variation of electrical heating time and its influence on the hybrid start-up is evaluated.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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