Modelling and experimental investigation of the porous nickel anode in the molten carbonate fuel cell
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
The thesis is focussed on the performance of the fuel cell and the design of the cell for operation with natural gas and renewable fuels, e.g. biogas or gasified biomass. The performance is one of the important issues for the development and commercialisation of fuel cell stacks. In order to operate fuel cell on renewable fuels, without preceding reforming of the fuel, a high temperature fuel cell is needed, i.e. a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) or a molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC). At present, the latter fuel cell type is much more mature when regarding the technical aspects than is the solid oxide fuel cell. The German company MTU has up to date installed about thirty MCFC plants, mainly in Europe and the USA but also in Japan. Moreover the European Commission has decided that the use of renewable fuels must increase at the expense of fossil fuels. This decision is one step towards a smaller dependence on fossil energy sources and limited emissions of greenhouse gases.
The objective of this work is to better understand the factors that influence the cell performance: to determine the kinetic parameters of the hydrogen oxidation and the carbon monoxide oxidation and to get more information about the reaction mechanism, even when dealing with gases of low hydrogen content. The latter is of special importance when operating the cells on biogas or gasified biomass. These fuels also contain higher concentrations of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
It was found that the hydrogen mechanism proposed by Jewulski and Suski describes the anode performance even at lower concentrations of hydrogen, i.e. gases corresponding to gasified biomass. Furthermore, the carbon monoxide reaction will only slightly influence the anode performance but if the rate of the shift reaction is small the influence of direct oxidation of carbon monoxide will increase. Experimental investigations have shown that mass transfer limitations in the gas phase exist. By mathematical modelling it was found that the current collector has a larger affect on the concentration gradients than the porous electrode. The concentrations gradients in the current collector are caused by the shift reaction that mainly takes place at the electrode. However, if the gas corresponds to equilibrium at the current collector the profiles will become almost uniform. Furthermore the influence of wetting properties, the pore structure and pore size distribution have also been investigated in this thesis. The outcome of this thesis may be used for electrode development and design, as well as for input to reliable cell and stack models for system simulations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2005. , 58 p.
Trita-KET, ISSN 1104-3466 ; 218
Chemical engineering, molten carbonate fuel cell, MCFC, mechanism, cell modelling, porous electrode
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-374ISBN: 91-7178-117-XOAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-374DiVA: diva2:9587
2005-08-24, Sal D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00
QC 201010082005-08-052005-08-052010-10-08Bibliographically approved
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