Biogas operated proton ceramic fuel cells with novel S-tolerant functional (BioPCFC)
The BioPCFC project aims to design and test novel proton conducting fuel cell fuelled with waste biogas.
About the project
The BioPCFC project will build basic knowledge on materials science and engineering for enabling with waste biogas fuelling of Proton Conducting Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. The novel functional materials will have a sulphur tolerance enabling robust and flexible fuelling from various renewable waste feedstocks. Foreseen advantages of this distributed combined heat and power technology using renewable sources are improved electrical efficiency (> 40%), and negligible levels of NOx and SOx pollutants compared to competing combusting engines and microturbines. The BioPCFC project addresses main problems of fuel cell efficiency and sulphur (S) tolerance in high temperature proton conducting fuel cells (PCFC) along three entirely novel routes with increasing risk/reward impact, related to the functional properties of materials in the anode and the electrolyte. Stable proton conducting solid oxide electrolyte with a controlled minor oxide ion contribution will be studied to achieve higher fuel utilization and supply of remaining H2O in the anode for internal reforming of CH4 and oxidation of CO. These are expectedly stable towards H2S. The project additionally includes a pioneering investigation of proton and oxide ion transport in sulphates, oxosulphates, and mixed oxoacid salts that are stable at high temperatures in the presence of SO2 and are hitherto unexplored in terms of ionic transport. Partial (or in principle full) replacement (alloying) of Ni by less noble metals, like Co, Fe, and Mn will be explored taking benefit of the more reducing atmosphere of PCFC anodes. Finally novel pathways for anode concepts in BioPCFC will include novel mixed proton-electron conducting electrocatalysts, proton and hydrogen in metallic oxides, transport of neutral hydrogen in oxides and sulphur-containing compounds.
The main objective of the BioPCFC project is to design and test novel proton conducting fuel cell fuelled with waste biogas.
The sub-objectives are to investigate novel pathways with increasing risk/reward impact to tailor the functional properties of the anode and the electrolyte:
- Investigation of proton conducting electrolyte with controlled minor oxide ion contribution using knowledge based materials;
- Investigation of proton and oxide ion transport in sulphates, oxosulphates, and mixed oxoacid salts;
- Full or partial replacement (alloying) of Ni by less noble metals, like Co, Fe, and Mn;
- Investigation of novel mixed proton-electron conducting electrocatalysts and sulphur-containing compounds for medium to high S stability;
- Investigation of transport of neutral hydrogen in oxides.
Any breakthrough in these routes will have large impacts in the Fuel Cells and Membranes communities.
The project is funded by Research Council of Norway under the NANO2021 programme, project number 219731.
The project lasts 3 years and is led by UiO in collaboration with SINTEF.