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Fuel Cells and Biogas
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
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 [en]
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: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13219ISBN: 978-91-7415-650-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-13219DiVA: diva2:322211
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
List of papers
1. Key factors in planning a sustainable energy future including hydrogen and fuel cells
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Key factors in planning a sustainable energy future including hydrogen and fuel cells
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2006 (English)In: Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, ISSN 0270-4676, E-ISSN 1552-4183, Vol. 26, no 4, 264-277 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, a number of future energy visions, especiallythose basing the energy systems on hydrogen, are discussed.Some often missing comparisons between alternatives, from asustainability perspective, are identified and then performedfor energy storage, energy transportation, and energy use invehicles. It is shown that it is important to be aware of thelosses implied by production, packaging, distribution, storage,and end-use of hydrogen when suggesting a "hydrogen economy."It is also shown that for stationary electric energy storage,fuel cell electrolyzers could be feasible. Zero-tailpipeemissionvehicles are compared. The battery electric vehicle has thehighest electrical efficiency, but other requirements implythat plug-in hybrids or fuel cell hybrids might be a betteroption in some types of vehicles. Finally, a simplified exampleis applied to the overall results and used to discuss the needsand nature of an energy system based on intermittent energysources. 

Keyword
sustainability, hydrogen, storage, intermittent, fuel cells, electric vehicles
National Category
Vehicle Engineering Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8323 (URN)10.1177/0270467606290294 (DOI)
Note

QC 20100707

Available from: 2008-05-05 Created: 2008-05-05 Last updated: 2012-10-02Bibliographically approved
2. Operating Experience and Results from 3310 hours of Operation of a Biogas-powered 5 kW SOFC System in GlashusEtt
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Operating Experience and Results from 3310 hours of Operation of a Biogas-powered 5 kW SOFC System in GlashusEtt
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13218 (URN)
Note

QC20100707

Available from: 2010-06-04 Created: 2010-06-04 Last updated: 2016-05-18Bibliographically approved
3. Description and modelling of the solar–hydrogen–biogas-fuel cell system in GlashusEtt
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Description and modelling of the solar–hydrogen–biogas-fuel cell system in GlashusEtt
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2004 (English)In: Journal of Power Sources, ISSN 0378-7753, E-ISSN 1873-2755, no 131, 340-350 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The need to reduce pollutant emissions and utilise the world's available energy resources more efficiently has led to increased attention towards e.g. fuel cells, but also to other alternative energy solutions. In order to further understand and evaluate the prerequisites for sustainable and energy-saving systems, ABB and Fortum have equipped an environmental information centre, located in Hammarby Sjostad, Stockholm, Sweden, with an alternative energy system. The system is being used to demonstrate and evaluate how a system based on fuel cells and solar cells can function as a complement to existing electricity and heat production. The stationary energy system is situated on the top level of a three-floor glass building and is open to the public. The alternative energy system consists of a fuel cell system, a photovoltaic (PV) cell array, an electrolyser, hydrogen storage tanks, a biogas burner, dc/ac inverters, heat exchangers and an accumulator tank. The fuel cell system includes a reformer and a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) with a maximum rated electrical output of 4 kW(el) and a maximum thermal output of 6.5 kW(th). The fuel cell stack can be operated with reformed biogas, or directly using hydrogen produced by the electrolyser. The cell stack in the electrolyser consists of proton exchange membrane (PEM) cells. To evaluate different automatic control strategies for the system, a simplified dynamic model has been developed in MATLAB Simulink. The model based on measurement data taken from the actual system. The evaluation is based on demand curves, investment costs, electricity prices and irradiation. Evaluation criteria included in the model are electrical and total efficiencies as well as economic parameters.

Keyword
Solar; Fuel cell system; Photovoltaic cell
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13215 (URN)10.1016/j.jpowsour.2003.11.094 (DOI)000221418800051 ()2-s2.0-2342454622 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20140721

Available from: 2010-06-04 Created: 2010-06-04 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. 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
Open this publication in new window or tab >>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
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.

Keyword
PEFC Air bleed Reformate Biogas CO
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13217 (URN)10.1016/j.ijhydene.2008.11.079 (DOI)000263666000046 ()2-s2.0-58649097489 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150723

Available from: 2010-06-04 Created: 2010-06-04 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
5. The influence of CO2, CO and air bleed on the current distribution of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The influence of CO2, CO and air bleed on the current distribution of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell
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2008 (English)In: International journal of hydrogen energy, ISSN 0360-3199, E-ISSN 1879-3487, no 33, 2064-2072 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The influence of CO2, CO and air bleed on current distribution was studied during transient operation, and the dynamic response of the fuel cell was evaluated. CO causes significant changes in the current distribution in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell. The current distribution reaches steady state after approximately 60 min following addition of 10 ppm CO to the anode fuel stream. Air bleed may recover the uneven current distribution caused by CO 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 O-2 partial pressure is far too low to fully recover the CO poisoning. The O-2 supplied to the anode reacts on the anode catalyst and no O-2 was measured at the cell outlet for air bleed levels up to 2.5%.

Keyword
PEFC Current distribution Reformate carbon dioxide
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13216 (URN)10.1016/j.ijhydene.2008.02.002 (DOI)000256606900011 ()2-s2.0-42749087163 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150727

Available from: 2010-06-04 Created: 2010-06-04 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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