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