Utilisation of coal for energy production in fuel cells
1 AGH-University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Fuels and Energy, 30-059 Cracow, Av. Mickiewicza 30, Poland
2 AGH-University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Mining and Geoengineering, 30-059 Cracow, Av. Mickiewicza 30, Poland
3 AGH-University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics, 30-059, Cracow, Av. Mickiewicza 30, Poland
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
In this paper a brief characterization of fuel cell technology and its possible application in sustainable energy development was described. Special attention was paid to direct carbon fuel cell technology. The direct carbon fuel cell is an electrochemical device which directly converts the chemical energy of carbonaceous based fuel into electricity without ‘flame burning’. The electrical efficiency of a DCFC is indeed very high (in practice exceeding 80%), and the product of conversion consists of almost pure CO2, eliminating the most expensive step of sequestration: the separation of carbon from flue gases. In this paper the process of electrochemical oxidation of carbon particles on the surface of oxide electrolytes at 8% mol Y2O3 in ZrO2 (8YSZ) as well as cermet anode Ni-8YSZ was analysed. The graphite, carbon black powders were considered as reference solid fuels for coal samples. It was found that the main factors contributing to the electrochemical reactivity of carbon particles is not only the high carbon content in samples but also structural disorder. It was found that structurally disordered carbon-based materials are the most promising solid fuels for direct carbon solid oxide fuel cells. Special impact was placed on the consideration of coal as possible solid fuels for DC-SOFC. Statistical and economic analyses show that in the coming decades, in developing countries such as China, India, and some EU countries, coal-fuelled power plants will maintain their strong position in the power sector due to their reliability and low costs as well as the large reserves of coal and lignite in the world. Coal is mined in politically stable areas, which guarantees its easy and safe purchase and transport. The impact of the physiochemical properties of raw and purified coal on the performance of the DC-SOFC was studied. An analysis of the stability of electrical parameters was performed for a DC-SOFC operating under a load over an extended period of time. The tests indicated that DC-SOFCs fed with de-ashed coal were characterized by stable operation, with a power density greater than 100 mW/cm2 from a single cell.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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