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Investigation of the prospect of energy self-sufficiency and technical performance of an integrated PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell), dairy farm and biogas plant system
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0635-7372
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Applied Electrochemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9203-9313
2014 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 130, 685-691 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A PEMFC fuelled with hydrogen is known for its high efficiency and low local emissions. However, the generation of hydrogen is always a controversial issue for the application of the PEMFC due to the use of fossil fuel and the possible carbon dioxide emissions. Presently, the PEMFC-CHP fed with renewable fuels, such as biogas, appears to be the most attractive energy converter-fuel combination. In this paper, an integrated PEMFC-CHP, a dairy farm and a biogas plant are studied. A PEMFC-CHP fed with reformate gas from the biogas plant generates electricity and heat to a dairy farm and a biogas plant, while the dairy farm delivers wet manure to the biogas plant as the feedstock for biogas production. This integrated system has been modelled for steady-state conditions by using Aspen Plus (R). The results indicate that the wet manure production of a dairy farm with 300 milked cows can support a biogas plant to give 1280 MW h of biogas annually. Based on the biogas production, a PEMFC-CHP with a stack having an electrical efficiency of 40% generates 360 MW h electricity and 680 MW h heat per year, which is enough to cover the energy demand of the whole system while the total efficiency of the PEMFC-CHP system is 82%. The integrated PEMFC-CHP, dairy farm and biogas plant could make the dairy farm and the biogas plant self-sufficient in a sustainable way provided the PEMFC-CHP has the electrical efficiency stated above. The effect of the methane conversion rate and the biogas composition on the system performance is discussed. Moreover, compared with the coal-fired CUP plant, the potentially avoided fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of this self-sufficient system are also calculated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 130, 685-691 p.
Keyword [en]
PEMFC-CHP, Biogas, Biogas plant, Dairy farm, Integration
National Category
Energy Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-150900DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.04.043ISI: 000340311500069ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84904794227OAI: diva2:746935
5th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE), JUL 01-04, 2013, Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA

QC 20140915

Available from: 2014-09-15 Created: 2014-09-11 Last updated: 2015-11-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Biomass-fuelled PEM FuelCell systems for small andmedium-sized enterprises
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biomass-fuelled PEM FuelCell systems for small andmedium-sized enterprises
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Biomass-fuelled proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) offer asolution for replacing fossil fuel for hydrogen production. Through using thebiomass-derived hydrogen as fuel, PEMFCs may become an efficient andsustainable energy system for small and medium-sized enterprises. The aim ofthis thesis is to evaluate the performance and potential applications of biomassfuelledPEMFC systems which are designed to convert biomass to electricity andheat. Biomass-fuelled PEMFC systems are simulated by Aspen plus based ondata collected from experiments and literature.The impact of the quality of the hydrogen-rich gas, anode stoichiometry, CH4content in the biogas and CH4 conversion rate on the performance of the PEMFCis investigated. Also, pinch technology is used to optimize the heat exchangernetwork to improve the power generation and thermal efficiency.For liquid and solid biomass, anaerobic digestion (AD) and gasification (GF),respectively, are relatively viable and developed conversion technologies. ForAD-PEMFC, a steam reformer is also needed to convert biogas to hydrogen-richgas. For 100 kWe generation, the GF-PEMFC system yields a good technicalperformance with 20 % electrical efficiency and 57 % thermal efficiency,whereas the AD-PEMFC system only has 9 % electrical efficiency and 13 %thermal efficiency. This low efficiency is due to the low efficiency of theanaerobic digester (AD) and the high internal heat consumption of the AD andthe steam reformer (SR). For the environmental aspects, the GF-PEMFC systemhas a high CO2 emissions offset factor and the AD-PEMFC system has anefficient land-use.The applications of the biomass-fuelled PEMFC systems are investigated on adairy farm and an olive oil plant. For the dairy farm, manure is used as feedstockto generate biogas through anaerobic digestion. A PEMFC qualified for 40 %electrical efficiency may generate 360 MWh electricity and 680 MWh heat peryear to make a dairy farm with 300 milked cows self-sufficient in a sustainableway. A PEMFC-CHP system designed for an olive oil plant generating annual 50000 m3 solid olive mill waste (SOMW) and 9 000 m3 olive mill waste water(OMW) is simulated based on experimental data from the Biogas2PEM-FCproject1. After the optimization of the heat exchanger network, the PEMFC-CHP 

system can generate 194 kW electricity which corresponds to 62 % of the totalelectricity demand of the olive oil plant.The economic performance of the PEMFC and biogas-fuelled PEMFC areassessed roughly including capital, operation & maintenance (O&M) costs of thebiogas plant and the PEMFC-CHP, the cost of heat and electricity, and the valueof the digestate as fertilizer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. xviii, 64 p.
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2015:65
PEMFC, renewable hydrogen production, biomass, hydrogen-rich gas, biomass conversion, anaerobic digestion, steam reforming, CO removal, gasification, sustainable energy system
National Category
Energy Systems Chemical Process Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-176633 (URN)978-91-7595-755-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-12-04, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

QC 20151109

Available from: 2015-11-09 Created: 2015-11-09 Last updated: 2015-11-09Bibliographically approved

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