Integrated gasification fuel cell technology is a promising option for processing solid fuels, which would enable high efficiencies to be reached in small-scale power generation. Among the different fuel cell types, solid oxide fuel cells present a good temperature match with fluidised bed gasification as well as greater versatility in terms of the fuel gas composition they can handle. However, their resistance to impurities in the gas needs to be addressed. The main objective of this work is to assess the impact on typical materials used in fuel cell anodes of the gases produced from a gasifier operating with a N2-free gasification agent, which would make the system carbon-capture ready. A laboratory scale continuous pressurised fluidised bed reactor has been modified to study CO2 and steam (concentration up to 40 mol%.) gasification of lignite at 850 °C. A second stage fixed bed reactor has been specially designed and constructed to study degradation of two SOFC anode materials (nickel/yttrium–stabilised zirconium oxide (Ni/YSZ) and nickel/gadolinium-doped ceria (Ni/CGO)) after exposure to real fuel gas at 765 °C. Under these conditions, which did not involve any gas cleaning/conditioning between stages, carbon deposition on the surface of anode materials was much smaller than in previous studies that used model tar compounds as feeds. Fuel gas from CO2/H2O gasification tended to deposit less carbon and sulphur on tested anode materials, particularly on Ni/CGO, than that from CO2 gasification. The anode materials converted a significant fraction of the fed tar to gas.
Funding from the European Commission’s Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) under grant agreements RFCR-CT-2007-0005 and RFCR-CT-2010-0009, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under grant agreement EP/M02346X/1 are gratefully acknowledged.
- SOFC anode materials
- carbon formation
- Sulphur deposition
- Oxyfuel gasification