CFD modeling of a biomass fuel cell utility system

Background:

Gasifier/SOFC hybrid system is regarded as an alternative to fossil energy for future combined heat and power (CHP) generation. Products from biomass gasification are main hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane, carbon dioxide, steam and nitrogen (in case of air used as an agent) together

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with other impurities like particulates, tars, sulphur compounds, alkali compounds and chlorine compounds. These contaminants would degrade the fuel cell performance if the biosyngas from gasifier is directly introduced to fuel cell without purification. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a proper gas cleaning system to couple the system of gasification and fuel cell. This kind of system, in a small scale, is especially meaningful for the residential area where biomass is available and electricity and heat provision has some problems.

Objective:

To develop a proper gas cleaning system to couple a gasifier and a SOFC stack for a highly efficient CHP system.

Work programme:

Working condition of a downdraft fixed-bed gasifier for a low production of contaminants within biosyngas will be determined. Performance of a small scale SOFC system will be evaluated and compared by CFD modeling and fuelling natural gas and simulated biosyngas. A proper gas cleaning system will be developed technically and economically to integrated the gasifier and SOFC. The performance of this developed gas cleaning system will be evaluated and validated by modeling work and experimental activities.

Project partners:

Federal university de Itajubá