Kinetics of Internal Methane Reforming on the Anodes of Low Temperature Ceres Power Steel Cell SOFCs

Wednesday, 29 July 2015: 11:20
Boisdale (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre)
R. T. Leah, M. Lankin, A. Bone, S. Mukerjee, and M. Selby (Ceres Power Ltd.)
Ceres Power has developed a unique low-temperature metal supported SOFC design (the ‘Steel Cell’) based predominantly around the use of ceria. This unique design architecture offers greatly enhanced robustness to real-world operating conditions at a lower cost than conventional SOFC designs, whilst retaining the advantages of fuel flexibility, high efficiency and low degradation.

A widely quoted benefit of SOFCs is the ability to carry out a significant percentage of the reforming of hydrocarbon fuels to syngas within the anode of the cells, simplifying the design of the fuel processing system by comparison with other fuel cell types. In addition performing the endothermic reforming reaction within the stack significantly reduces the requirement for air cooling, which improves the efficiency of a typical SOFC system by reducing the parasitic power demand from the cathode air blower.

It has historically been viewed that a disadvantage of low temperature SOFC operation is that significant levels of internal methane reforming are no longer possible due to poor kinetics and thermodynamically limited methane conversion. The Ceres steel cell technology has been developed to perform relatively high levels (40-60%) of internal methane reforming. In this paper a method for approximately estimating the kinetics of methane reforming on Steel Cell anodes will be described, coupling experimental measurements to a mathematical model.