Performance of solid-oxide fuel cells operating with different sustainable fuel reformates

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Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are recognized for their outstanding fuel flexibility and high efficiency in converting chemical energy into electrical energy. This research presents experiments on SOFCs fed with humidified hydrogen and hydrogen-rich gaseous reformates derived from methanol and ammonia: methanol steam reforming (MSR), methanol decomposition (MD), and ammonia decomposition (AD), at 700–850 °C. Results of SOFCs operating with MD reformate on different types of SOFCs, which to the best of our knowledge aren't available in the literature, are presented and compared with other reformate types for the first time. MD-reformate yielded the highest cell performance, with the least disparity in power density from humidified hydrogen, followed by AD-, and MSR-reformates. The study compares the direct internal reforming method, and the innovative Combined Electro-Thermo-Chemical cycle's potential. Introducing the concept of critical power density, the research evaluates fuel utilization across SOFC types. Scanning Electron Microscopy imaging and Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy analyses confirm the viability of CO as a fuel, with no carbon deposits on the anodes when using MD-reformate. The findings demonstrate the suitability of using methanol- and ammonia-decomposition products in SOFCs and their compatibility with hybrid power generation cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number234761
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2024


  • Ammonia decomposition
  • Combined electro-thermo-chemical propulsion cycle
  • Methanol decomposition
  • Methanol steam reforming
  • Solid-oxide fuel cell
  • Sustainable fuel reforming

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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