Solid oxide fuel cells powered by biomass gasification for high efficiency power generation

Rasmus Østergaard Gadsbøll, Jesper Thomsen, Christian Bang-Møller, Jesper Ahrenfeldt, Ulrik Birk Henriksen

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Abstract

Increased use of bioenergy is a very cost-effective and flexible measure to limit changes in the climate and the infrastructure. One of the key technologies toward a higher implementation of biomass is thermal gasification, which enables a wide span of downstream applications. In order to improve efficiencies, flexibility and possibly costs of current biomass power generating systems, a power plant concept combining solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and gasification is investigated experimentally. The aim of the study is to examine the commercial operation system potential of these two technologies. Investigations are done by combining the commercial TwoStage Viking gasifier developed at the Technical University of Denmark and a state-of-the-art SOFC stack from Topsoe Fuel Cell for high efficiency power generation. A total of 5 tests were performed including polarization tests at various gas flows to study part-load operation; and a longer test to investigate stability. The study shows experimentally the potential and feasibility of a SOFC-gasification system with a commercial gasifier and a SOFC stack by measuring the highest reported values of such a system, with biomass-to-electricity efficiencies up to 43%. Results from related modeling studies are also presented, showcasing the intriguing potential of the system with modeled cycle electric efficiencies up to 62%.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy
Volume131
Pages (from-to)198-206
ISSN0360-5442
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Bioenergy
  • Biomass
  • Gasification
  • Fuel cell
  • SOFC
  • Power generation

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