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Solid Oxide Fuel/Electrolyzer Cells

 

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) use a solid oxide material as the electrolyte and are predominantly used for generating electricity typically through the electrochemical oxidation of H2 via oxygen ions conducted to the anode side. SOFCs are modular, scalable, efficient, and use a variety of hydrocarbons as fuel and tolerate some degree of common fossil fuel impurities, such as ammonia and chlorides. Alternatively, a solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC) consumes electricity to generate molecules e.g. conversion of water or CO2 to produce H2 or CO, respectively with all of the advantages of an SOFC.

ISEE conducts both process simulation and materials research in a host of SOFC/SOEC applications. The research group predominantly is interested in the application of SOFC technology for process intensification for conversion of hydrocarbon feedstocks into valuable fuels and chemicals. ISEE recently was awarded a U.S. DOE project (DE-FE031709) to convert hydrocarbons and CO2 into fuels and chemicals. In addition, the team recently worked with the U.S. Navy to assess repowering of unmanned aerial vehicles using SOFC simulation tools developed by ISEE. Currently, ISEE is utilizing in-house additive manufacturing in coordination with industry to develop new manufacturing techniques which improve performance while reducing manufacturing energy consumption.

 

Advantages

  1. Produces multiple value-added products (CO and chemicals/fuels) provides optimal process economics
  2. Utilizes intermediate-temperature solid oxide electrolyte technology to relax C and O bonding to reduce overall process energetics
  3. Utilizing modularity of SOFC platform technology offers integration into multiple existing/new fuel conversion cycles – Pulverized Coal (PC), Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC), Natural Gass Combined Cycle (NGCC), Allam power cycle – refinery, or oil/gas field operations
  4. Addressing natural gas liquids (NGL) oversupply and separation bottleneck facing the U.S. natural gas industry.

Literature

  1. Tanim, T., Bayless, D. J., Trembly, J. P. (2012). Modeling of a 5 kWe tubular solid oxide fuel cell-based system operating on desulfurized JP-8 fuel for auxiliary and mobile power applications. Journal of Power Sources; 221: p387-396. 
  1. Silva D., K.C.R., Kaseman, B.J, Bayless, D. J. (2011). Accelerated anode failure of a high temperature planar SOFC operated with reduced moisture and increased PH3 concentrations in coal syngas. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy; 36: p9945-9955. 
  1. Bayless, D. J., DeSilva, C., Kaseman, B. (2011). Silver (Ag) as Anode and Cathode Current Collectors in High Temperature Planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy; 36: p779-786. 
  1. Bayless, D. J., Cooper, M., DeSilva, C. (2010). Comparison of LSV/YSZ and LSV/GDC SOFC Anode Performance in Coal Syngas Containing H2S. Journal of the Electrochemical Society; 157: p1713-1718. 
  1. Burnette, D., Kremer, G., Bayless, D. J. (2008). The Use of Hydrogen-depleted Coal Syngas in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. Journal of Power Sources; 182: p329-333. 
  1. Shi, L., Bayless, D. J. (2008). Analysis of Jet Fuel Reforming for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Applications in Auxiliary Power Units. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy; 33: p1067-1075. 
  1. Trembly, J. P., Marquez, A., Ohrn, T., Bayless, D. J. (2007). Effects of Coal Syngas and H2S on the Performance of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Single-Cell Tests. Journal of Power Sources; 158: p263-273. 

 

Technology Readiness Level

  1. Modular Electrocatalytic Processing for Simultaneous Carbon Utilization and Alkane Conversion: TRL 2/3

Current Investigators

  1. Jason Trembly, Principal Investigator
  2. Samgopiraj Velraj, Research Staff
  3. Damilola Daramola, Research Staff

Sponsor

  • US Department of Energy – National Energy Technology Laboratory