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Performance and durability of the molten carbonate electrolysis cell (MCEC) and the reversible molten carbonate fuel cell (RMCFC)
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Applied Electrochemistry.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Applied Electrochemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9203-9313
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Applied Electrochemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2268-5042
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The molten carbonate electrolysis cell (MCEC) provides the opportunity for producing fuel gases, e.g. hydrogen or syngas, in an environmentally friendly way, especially when in combination with renewable electricity resources such as solar, wind and/or hydropower. The evaluation of the performance and durability of the molten carbonate cell is a key for developing the electrolysis technology. In this study, we report that the electrochemical performance of the cell and electrodes somewhat decreases during the long-term test of the MCEC. The degradation is not permanent, though, and the cell performance could be partially recovered. Since conventional fuel cell materials consisting of Ni-based porous catalysts and carbonate electrolyte are used in the MCEC durability test, it is also shown that the cell can alternatingly operate as an electrolysis cell for fuel gas production and as a fuel cell for electricity generation, i.e. as a so-called reversible molten carbonate fuel cell (RMCFC). This study reveals that the cell performance improves after a long period of RMCFC operation. The stability and durability of the cell in long-term tests evidence the feasibility of the electrolysis and reversible operations in carbonate melts using a conventional fuel cell set-up, at least in lab-scale.

National Category
Chemical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-185431OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-185431DiVA: diva2:920569
Note

QC 20160419

Available from: 2016-04-18 Created: 2016-04-18 Last updated: 2016-04-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Molten carbonate fuel cells for electrolysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Molten carbonate fuel cells for electrolysis
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The molten carbonate fuel cell has evolved to current megawatt-scale commercial power plants. When using the fuel cell for electrolysis, it provides a promising option for producing fuel gases such as hydrogen and syngas. The cell can thereby operate reversibly as a dual energy converter for electricity generation and fuel gas production. The so-called reversible molten carbonate fuel cell will probably increase the usefulness of the system and improve the economic benefits.

This work has investigated the performance and durability of the cell in electrolysis and reversible operations. A lower polarization loss is found for the electrolysis cell than for the fuel cell, mainly due to the NiO electrode performing better in the MCEC. The stability of the cell in long-term tests evidences the feasibility of the MCEC and the RMCFC using a conventional fuel cell set-up, at least in lab-scale.

This study elucidates the electrode kinetics of hydrogen production and oxygen production. The experimentally obtained partial pressure dependencies for hydrogen production are high, and they do not reasonably satisfy the reverse pathways of the hydrogen oxidation mechanisms. The reverse process of an oxygen reduction mechanism in fuel cell operation is found to suitably describe oxygen production in the MCEC.

To evaluate the effect of the reverse water-gas shift reaction and the influence of the gas phase mass transport on the porous Ni electrode in the electrolysis cell, a mathematical model is applied in this study. When the humidified inlet gas compositions enter the current collector the decrease of the shift reaction rate increases the electrode performance. The model well describes the polarization behavior of the Ni electrode when the inlet gases have low contents of reactants. The experimental data and modeling results are consistent in that carbon dioxide has a stronger effect on the gas phase mass transport than other components, i.e. water and hydrogen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 57 p.
Series
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2016:18
Keyword
Durability, electrode kinetics, gas phase mass transport, molten carbonate electrolysis cell, molten carbonate fuel cell, performance, reversible.
National Category
Chemical Sciences
Research subject
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-185433 (URN)978-91-7595-928-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-05-20, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160419

Available from: 2016-04-20 Created: 2016-04-18 Last updated: 2016-04-20Bibliographically approved

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