Fuel flexibility in power generation by solid oxide fuel cells

K. Eguchi, H. Kojo, T. Takeguchi, R. Kikuchi, K. Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

251 Citations (Scopus)


Power generation characteristics of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with internal steam reforming of hydrocarbons were investigated. Steam reforming reaction over a Ni-YSZ cermet catalyst attained almost the equilibrium conversion and selectivity in the fixed bed reactor at 1000 °C. The conversion of internal reforming of hydrocarbons was incomplete because of the limited contact time with a thick layer of the Ni cermet electrode. Therefore, the fuel cell supplied with pre-reforming gas to the anode always gave rise to a lower terminal voltage because of the insufficient conversion of fuel compared with that supplied with post-reforming gas at a given current density. Methane internal reforming proceeded without deterioration with time, whereas the power generation with ethane and ethylene suffered from carbon deposition even at high steam-to-carbon ratio. Carbon deposition region and equilibrium partial pressure of oxygen in the C-H-O diagram were estimated from the thermodynamic data. The effect of the gas composition in the power generation characteristics, especially, difference in reactivity between H2 and CO, was investigated. The H2-H2O and CO-CO2 fuel systems led to almost the same open circuit voltage at the same H2/H2O and CO/CO2 ratios at 1000 °C, as expected from the thermodynamic equilibrium. The output voltage in a discharge condition was always higher for H2-H2O than for CO-CO2 at every current density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-416
Number of pages6
JournalSolid State Ionics
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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