Use of Methanation for Optimization of a Hybrid Plant Combining Two-Stage Biomass Gasification, SOFCs and a Micro Gas Turbine

Christian Bang-Møller, Masoud Rokni, Brian Elmegaard

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A hybrid plant producing combined heat and power (CHP) from biomass by use of the two-stage gasification concept, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and a micro gas turbine (MGT) was considered for optimization. The hybrid plant is a sustainable and efficient alternative to conventional decentralized CHP plants. The demonstrated two-stage gasifier produces a clean product gas, thus ensuring the need for only simple gas conditioning prior to the SOFCs. Focus in this optimization study was on SOFC cooling and the investigation was conducted by system-level modelling combining zerodimensional component models in the simulation tool DNA. By introducing an adiabatic methanation reactor prior to the SOFCs, the excess air flow for SOFC cooling could be reduced due to additional endothermic reforming reactions internally in the SOFCs, thus lowering the air compressor work. Installing an adiabatic methanator reduced the mass flow of cathode air by 27% and increased the turbine inlet temperature by 17% resulting in an electrical efficiency gain from 48.6 to 50.4% based on lower heating value (LHV). Furthermore, the size of several components could be reduced due to the lower air flow. The study also showed that combining alternative product gas preheating and adiabatic methanation made the traditional anode in/out heat exchanger redundant and an electrical efficiency of 52.5% (LHV) was achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnergy Systems and Technologies for the coming Century
Number of pages454
VolumeSession 8 - Fuel Cells and Hydrogen
Place of Publication978-87-550-3903-2
PublisherDanmarks Tekniske Universitet, Risø Nationallaboratoriet for Bæredygtig Energi
Publication date2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventRisø International Energy Conference 2011 - Risø DTU, Roskilde, Denmark
Duration: 10 May 201112 May 2011


ConferenceRisø International Energy Conference 2011
LocationRisø DTU
SeriesDenmark. Forskningscenter Risoe. Risoe-R


  • Gasification
  • System-level model
  • Methanation
  • SOFC
  • Optimization
  • Risø-R-1776
  • Risø-R-1776(EN)


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