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Experimental results from a 5 kW PEM fuel cell stackoperated on simulated reformate from highly dilutedhydrocarbon fuels: Efficiency, dilution, fuel utilisation,CO poisoning and design criteria
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology. (Energiprocesser, Energy Processes)
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology. (Tillämpad elektrokemi, Applied Electrochemistry)
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology. (Energiprocesser, Energy Processes)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0635-7372
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology. (Tillämpad elektrokemi, Applied Electrochemistry)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9203-9313
2009 (English)In: International journal of hydrogen energy, ISSN 0360-3199, E-ISSN 1879-3487, no 34, 1508-1514 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present article analyses the effects of dilute biogas on efficiency, fuel utilisation, dynamics, control strategy, and design criteria for a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) system. The tested fuel compositions are exemplified by gas compositions that could be attained within various Swedish biofuel demonstration projects. Experimental data which can serve as a basis for design of PEFC biogas systems operating in load-following, or steady-state mode, are reported for a 5 kW PEFC stack.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. no 34, 1508-1514 p.
Keyword [en]
PEFC Air bleed Reformate Biogas CO
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13217DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2008.11.079ISI: 000263666000046Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-58649097489OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-13217DiVA: diva2:322206
Note

QC 20150723

Available from: 2010-06-04 Created: 2010-06-04 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Fuel Cells and Biogas
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fuel Cells and Biogas
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis concerns biogas-operated fuel cells. Fuel cell technology may contribute to more efficient energy use, reduce emissions and also perhaps revolutionize current energy systems. The technology is, however, still immature and has not yet been implemented as dominant in any application or niche market. Research and development is currently being carried out to investigate whether fuel cells can live up to their full potential and to further advance the technology. The research of thesis contributes by exploring the potential of using fuel cells as energy converters of biogas to electricity.

The work includes results from four different experimental test facilities and concerns experiments performed at cell, stack and fuel cell system levels. The studies on cell and stack level have focused on the influence of CO, CO2 and air bleed on the current distribution during transient operation. The dynamic response has been evaluated on a single cell, a segmented cell and at stack level. Two fuel cell systems, a 4 kW PEFC system and a 5 kW SOFC system have been operated on upgraded biogas.

A significant outcome is that the possibility of operating both PEFCs and SOFCs on biogas has been established. No interruptions or rapid performance loss could be associated with the upgraded biogas during operation. From the studies at cell and stack level, it is clear that CO causes significant changes in the current distribution in a PEFC; air bleed may recover the uneven current distribution and also the drop in cell voltage due to CO and CO2 poisoning. The recovery of cell performance during air bleed occurs evenly over the electrode surface even when the O2 partial pressure is far too low to fully recover the CO poisoning. The O2 supplied to the anode reacts on the anode catalyst and no O2 was measured at the cell outlet for air bleed levels up to 5 %.

Reformed biogas and other gases with high CO2 content are thus, from dilution and CO-poisoning perspectives, suitable for PEFC systems. The present work has enhanced our understanding of biogas-operated fuel cells and will serve as basis for future studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. vi, 61 p.
Series
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2010:20
Keyword
air bleed, biogas, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, current distribution, dilution, efficiency, energy conversion, energy systems, experimental, fuel cell, fuel cell systems, PEFC, poisoning, reformate, SOFC
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13219 (URN)978-91-7415-650-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-06-15, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC20100708Available from: 2010-06-04 Created: 2010-06-04 Last updated: 2010-07-08Bibliographically approved
2. Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells in Reformate Power Generators
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells in Reformate Power Generators
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The topic of this thesis is the generation of electricity from hydrocarbon fuels via polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC). The aim has been to develop methods and hardware for experimental evaluation of process parameters and design variables in PEFC reformate cells and stacks.

Reformate fuel cell systems have the potential to offer a way for utilizing fuels efficiently with low global and local emissions. Reforming of hydrocarbon fuels may also provide a way around the famous “chicken or egg” dilemma of hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure.

In this thesis current distribution measurements are introduced as a tool for investigating the current distribution in a PEFC with Pt/C or PtRu/C anode catalyst as function of reformate fuel gas composition. It is shown that CO may induce a strong transient behavior, with respect to current density, on both Pt/C and PtRu/C catalysts, depending on mode of operation. Analysis of the exhaust fuel gas showed that the oxygen in the air bleed most likely reacts close to the anode inlet, but this is not visible in the measured current density plots.  The time dependence of the CO poisoning reactions is studied more closely in a commercial fuel cell stack.

The development of a test fuel cell system, called multisinglecell, that can multiply the capacity of a conventional test station is reported. The setup is successfully demonstrated with initial screening of the corrosion resistance of different stainless steel grades and coatings. Most of the iron originating from a stainless steel sample accumulates in the MEA and GDLs. These results were validated with a similar measurement in a commercial fuel cell stack.

The experimental validation of a 3D FEM computer endplate model, which can accurately predict pressure distribution within any type of fuel cell at any temperature, is described. The model could reliably predict trends in changes in the compression pressure distribution.

The PBI fuel cell competes with the PEFC in small-scale power applications. A high temperature break-in procedure for PBI fuel cells is developed, which can rapidly and reproducibly ensure stable cell behavior.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. 59 p.
Series
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2010:54
Keyword
Chemical, Automotive
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26938 (URN)978-91-7415-821-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-12-17, E3, Lindstedtsvägen 3, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101130Available from: 2010-11-30 Created: 2010-11-30 Last updated: 2010-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Alvfors, PerLindbergh, Göran

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