SOFC Operation with Real Biogas

Anke Hagen, Anna Winiwarter, Hendrik Langnickel, Gregory Johnson

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Biogas is a valuable energy source and will be available in future in systems relying on renewables. It is an attractive fuel for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), which are able to utilize the carbon contained in the biogas and which produce electricity with high efficiency. In the current paper, state‐of‐the‐art SOFCs were studied regarding performance and durability in relation to biogas as fuel and considering important contaminants, specifically sulfur. First, the catalytic behavior in relevant synthetic biogas mixtures was studied and the potential of dry reforming was demonstrated. Successful long term operation of an SOFC under both, conditions of steam and dry reforming, i.e., addition of steam or CO2 to avoid carbon formation was shown. For the steam reforming case a remarkable period of 3,500 h, hereof 3,000 h in the presence of H2S was achieved. Finally, a real biogas from a landfill gas unit was used as fuel. The concept of dry reforming was realized. The SOFC was successfully operated with and in one case even without a specific gas cleaning unit.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFuel Cells
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)854-861
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Biogas
  • Durability
  • Reforming
  • SOFC
  • Sulfur


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