Internal steam reforming in solid oxide fuel cells: Status and opportunities of kinetic studies and their impact on modelling

David Mogensen, J.-D. Grunwaldt, Peter Vang Hendriksen, Kim Dam-Johansen, J.U. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) systems with internal steam reforming have the potential to become an economically competitive technology for cogeneration power plants, exploiting its significantly higher electrical efficiency compared to existing technologies. Optimal design and operation of such a system require SOFC models that include accurate description of the steam reforming rate. The objective of this article is to review the reported kinetic expressions for the steam reforming reaction. Extensive work has been performed on traditional catalysts for steam reforming. Because of differences in operating conditions, catalyst support material and structure it is critical to transfer this knowledge directly to internal reforming in SOFCs, which is discussed in further detail in this article. There are big differences in the reported kinetic expression for steam reforming over both industrial Ni catalysts and SOFC anode materials. Surprisingly, there is a good agreement between measured rates pr. geometric anode area at high operating temperatures, even for very different anodes. Detailed experimental data on the intrinsic steam reforming kinetics of Ni-YSZ are necessary for micro structure SOFC modeling, such expression are however lacking, but it may be viable to use measurements on industrial steam reforming catalysts instead. Nevertheless there is a further need for experimental studies on determining the exact steam reforming kinetics for SOFC anodes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)25-38
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
  • Fuel Cells and Hydrogen

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