Testing of a Catalytic Partial Oxidation Diesel Reformer with a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System

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Rural Alaska currently uses diesel generator sets to produce much of its power. The high energy content of diesel (i.e. ~140,000 BTU per gallon) makes it the fuel of choice because this reduces the volume of fuel that must be transported, stored, and consumed in generating the power. There is an existing investment in infrastructure for the distribution and use of diesel fuel. Problems do exist, however, in that diesel generators are not very efficient in their use of diesel, maintenance levels can be rather high as systems age, and the environmental issues related to present diesel generators are of ... continued below

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Frost, Lyman; Carrington, Bob; McKain, Rodger & Witmer, Dennis March 1, 2005.

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Rural Alaska currently uses diesel generator sets to produce much of its power. The high energy content of diesel (i.e. ~140,000 BTU per gallon) makes it the fuel of choice because this reduces the volume of fuel that must be transported, stored, and consumed in generating the power. There is an existing investment in infrastructure for the distribution and use of diesel fuel. Problems do exist, however, in that diesel generators are not very efficient in their use of diesel, maintenance levels can be rather high as systems age, and the environmental issues related to present diesel generators are of concern. The Arctic Energy Technology Development Laboratory at the University of Alaska -- Fairbanks is sponsoring a project to address the issues mentioned above. The project takes two successful systems, a diesel reformer and a tubular solid oxide fuel cell unit, and jointly tests those systems with the objective of producing a for-purpose diesel fueled solid oxide fuel cell system that can be deployed in rural Alaska. The reformer will convert the diesel to a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen that can be used as a fuel by the fuel cell. The high temperature nature of the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC is capable of using this mixture to generate electricity and provide usable heat with higher efficiency and lower emissions. The high temperature nature of the SOFC is more compatible with the arctic climate than are low temperature technologies such as the proton exchange membrane fuel cells. This paper will look at the interaction of a SOFC system that is designed to internally reform methane and a catalytic partial oxidation (CPOX) diesel reformer. The diesel reformer produces a reformate that is approximately 140 BTU per scf (after removal of much of the reformate water) as compared to a methane based reformate that is over twice that value in BTU content. The project also considers the effect of altitude since the test location will be at 4800 feet with the consequential drop in oxygen content and necessary increases in flow rates.

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  • AIChE Spring Meeting,Atlanta, GA,04/10/2005,04/15/2005

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-05-00180
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 911100
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc882512

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  • March 1, 2005

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Oct. 19, 2016, 4:21 p.m.

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Frost, Lyman; Carrington, Bob; McKain, Rodger & Witmer, Dennis. Testing of a Catalytic Partial Oxidation Diesel Reformer with a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System, article, March 1, 2005; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc882512/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.