Clean Energy from Ethanol: Efficient Oxidation of Ethanol in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Via a New Reformer Catalyst

Wednesday, May 14, 2014: 17:20
Floridian Ballroom F, Lobby Level (Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek)
A. Kowal (ELCATAK), R. Adzic (Chemistry Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory), M. Parlinska-Wojtan (Rzeszow University, Rzeszow, Poland), M. Pokora, A. Martyla (CLAiO, Poznan,Poland), and R. Nowak (CEREL, Boguchwala, Poland)
The possibility of obtaining electrical energy from bio-ethanol provokes an increased interest in Direct Ethanol Fuel Cells (DEFC). Commercial platinum nano catalysts  do not facilitate a complete oxidation  of ethanol. Ternary PtRhSnO2 catalysts  are able to  split the C-C bond and oxidize ethanol to CO2at room temperature  [1- 2], but require further development.

In order to improve the efficiency of high-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), particularly those utilizing ethanol as a fuel (ESOFC), our recent research  focused on the catalysts that increase the power density of such  fuel cells. The systems studied  were based on nano-oxides such as SnO2, SnO2/Sb2O5, CeO2 and TiO2. The structural properties of such synthesized oxides were evaluated using XRD and HRTEM. These oxides were then deposited on nickel foam and used in an external reformer converting ethanol to H2. Reformed ethanol was fed to an anode of the SOFC . The Ni/CeO2catalyst in the external reformer, combined with SOFC,  gives the highest power density of ESOFC (Ethanol Solid Oxide Fuel Cell).

[1]  Kowal A., et al., Nature Materials , 2009, 9, 325.

[2] Adzic R, Kowal A., (Brookhaven National Laboratory), Patent  Application Publication , Pub. No. US2009/0068505  A1 (Mar. 12, 2009).