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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fuel flexibility study of an integrated 25 kW SOFC reformer system

  • Author(s): Yi, Y
  • Rao, AD
  • Brouwer, J
  • Samuelsen, GS
  • et al.

The operation of solid oxide fuel cells on various fuels, such as natural gas, biogas and gases derived from biomass or coal gasification and distillate fuel reforming has been an active area of SOFC research in recent years. In this study, we develop a theoretical understanding and thermodynamic simulation capability for investigation of an integrated SOFC reformer system operating on various fuels. The theoretical understanding and simulation results suggest that significant thermal management challenges may result from the use of different types of fuels in the same integrated fuel cell reformer system. Syngas derived from coal is simulated according to specifications from high-temperature entrained bed coal gasifiers. Diesel syngas is approximated from data obtained in a previous NFCRC study of JP-8 and diesel operation of the integrated 25 kW SOFC reformer system. The syngas streams consist of mixtures of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen. Although the SOFC can tolerate a wide variety in fuel composition, the current analyses suggest that performance of integrated SOFC reformer systems may require significant operating condition changes and/or system design changes in order to operate well on this variety of fuels. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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