Advanced Tubular Solid Oxide Fuel Cells with High Efficiency for Internal Reforming of Hydrocarbon Fuels03/15/2009
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) constitute an attractive power-generation technology that converts chemical energy directly into electricity while causing little pollution. NanoDynamics Energy (NDE) Inc. has developed micro-tubular SOFC-based portable power generation systems that run on both gaseous and liquid fuels. In this paper, we present our next generation solid oxide fuel cells that exhibit total efficiencies in excess of 60% running on hydrogen fuel and 40+% running on readily available gaseous hydrocarbon fuels such as propane, butane etc. The advanced fuel cell design enables power generation at very high power densities and efficiencies (lower heating value-based) while reforming different hydrocarbon fuels directly inside the tubular SOFC without the aid of fuel pre-processing/reforming. The integrated catalytic layered SOFC demonstrated stable performance for >1000 h at high efficiency while running on propane fuel at sub-stoichiometric oxygen-to-fuel ratios. This technology will facilitate the introduction of highly efficient, reliable, fuel flexible, and lightweight portable power generation systems.