Development of an External Fuel Processor for a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

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A 250 kW External Fuel Processor was developed and tested that will supply the gases needed by a pipeline natural gas fueled, solid oxide fuel cell during all modes of operation. The fuel processor consists of three major subsystems--a desulfurizer to remove fuel sulfur to an acceptable level, a synthesis gas generator to support plant heat-up and low load fuel cell operations, and a start gas generator to supply a non-flammable, reducing gas to the fuel cell during startup and shutdown operations. The desulfurization subsystem uses a selective catalytic sulfur oxidation process that was developed for operation at elevated pressure ... continued below

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Birmingham, Daniel; Debellis, Crispin; Perna, Mark & Upadhyayula, Anant February 28, 2008.

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A 250 kW External Fuel Processor was developed and tested that will supply the gases needed by a pipeline natural gas fueled, solid oxide fuel cell during all modes of operation. The fuel processor consists of three major subsystems--a desulfurizer to remove fuel sulfur to an acceptable level, a synthesis gas generator to support plant heat-up and low load fuel cell operations, and a start gas generator to supply a non-flammable, reducing gas to the fuel cell during startup and shutdown operations. The desulfurization subsystem uses a selective catalytic sulfur oxidation process that was developed for operation at elevated pressure and removes the fuel sulfur to a total sulfur content of less than 80 ppbv. The synthesis gas generation subsystem uses a waterless, catalytic partial oxidation reactor to produce a hydrogen-rich mixture from the natural gas and air. An operating window was defined that allows carbon-free operation while maintaining catalyst temperatures that will ensure long-life of the reactor. The start gas subsystem generates an oxygen-free, reducing gas from the pipeline natural gas using a low-temperature combustion technique. These physically and thermally integrated subsystems comprise the 250 kW External Fuel Processor. The 250 kW External Fuel Processor was tested at the Rolls-Royce facility in North Canton, Ohio to verify process performance and for comparison with design specifications. A step wise operation of the automatic controls through the startup, normal operation and shutdown sequences allowed the control system to be tuned and verified. A fully automated system was achieved that brings the fuel processor through its startup procedure, and then await commands from the fuel cell generator module for fuel supply and shutdown. The fuel processor performance met all design specifications. The 250 kW External Fuel Processor was shipped to an American Electric Power site where it will be tested with a Rolls-Royce solid oxide fuel cell generator module.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-06NT42809
  • DOI: 10.2172/943976 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 943976
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc895021

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • February 28, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 23, 2016, 3:32 p.m.

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Birmingham, Daniel; Debellis, Crispin; Perna, Mark & Upadhyayula, Anant. Development of an External Fuel Processor for a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell, report, February 28, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc895021/: accessed September 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.