Modeling electrochemical partial oxidation of methane for cogeneration of electricity and syngas in solid-oxide fuel cells

Huayang Zhu*, Robert J. Kee, Manoj R. Pillai, Scott A Barnett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper uses computational models to evaluate strategies for scaling electrochemical partial oxidation (EPOX) processes from the laboratory scale to practical application. In addition to producing electrical energy alone, solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC) can be operated with hydrocarbon fuel streams to produce synthesis gas (H2 and CO) as well. SOFC systems are usually operated to consume most of the fuel and produce electricity. However, by operating with a hydrocarbon fuel at relatively high flow rates, the exhaust-gas composition can be predominantly syngas. In this case the steam (and CO2), produced from electrochemical and thermal reactions, reacts to reform the hydrocarbon fuel within the catalytic anode support structure. A practical limitation of electrochemical partial oxidation operation is the fact that carbon tends to deposit on Ni-based anode catalysts. The present paper explores the use of barrier layers to prevent carbon deposits. The results show that a tubular cell can be designed to deliver syngas and electricity using methane as the primary fuel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume183
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2008

Keywords

  • Cogeneration
  • EPOX
  • Modeling
  • Partial oxidation
  • SOFC
  • Syngas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Fuel Technology
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Energy (miscellaneous)

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