Research Papers: Power Engineering

Electrochemical Carbon Separation in a SOFC–MCFC Polygeneration Plant With Near-Zero Emissions

[+] Author and Article Information
Luca Mastropasqua

Department of Energy,
Politecnico di Milano,
Via Lambruschini 4,
Milan 20156, Italy;
National Fuel Cell Research Center,
University of California,
Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697-3550
e-mail: luca.mastropasqua@polimi.it

Stefano Campanari

Department of Energy,
Politecnico di Milano,
Via Lambruschini 4,
Milan 20156, Italy
e-mail: stefano.campanari@polimi.it

Jack Brouwer

National Fuel Cell Research Center,
University of California, Irvine,
Irvine, CA 92697-3550
e-mail: jb@apep.uci.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Power Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 2, 2017; final manuscript received July 7, 2017; published online September 19, 2017. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 140(1), 013001 (Sep 19, 2017) (12 pages) Paper No: GTP-17-1251; doi: 10.1115/1.4037639 History: Received July 02, 2017; Revised July 07, 2017

The modularity and high efficiency at small-scale make high temperature (HT) fuel cells an interesting solution for carbon capture and utilization at the distributed generation (DG) scale when coupled to appropriate use of CO2 (i.e., for industrial uses, local production of chemicals, etc.). The present work explores fully electrochemical power systems capable of producing a highly pure CO2 stream and hydrogen. In particular, the proposed system is based upon integrating a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with a molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC). The use of these HT fuel cells has already been separately applied in the past for carbon capture and storage (CCS) applications. However, their combined use is yet unexplored. The reference configuration proposed envisions the direct supply of the SOFC anode outlet to a burner which, using the cathode depleted air outlet, completes the oxidation of the unconverted species. The outlet of the burner is then fed to the MCFC cathode inlet, which separates the CO2 from the stream. This layout has the significant advantage of achieving the required CO2 purity for liquefaction and long-range transportation without requiring the need of cryogenic or distillation plants. Furthermore, different configurations are considered with the final aim of increasing the carbon capture ratio (CCR) and maximizing the electrical efficiency. Moreover, the optimal power ratio between SOFC and MCFC stacks is also explored. Complete simulation results are presented, discussing the proposed plant mass and energy balances and showing the most attractive configurations from the point of view of total efficiency and CCR.

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Fig. 1

Solid oxide fuel cell/molten carbonate fuel cell hybrid polygeneration plant with CCS layout

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Fig. 2

Ejector model layout

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Fig. 3

CO2 compression system layout

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Fig. 4

Electric efficiency versus size of difference power generation technologies. Adapted from Ref. [7].

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Fig. 5

Sensitivity analysis on SOFC fuel utilization factor

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Fig. 6

Sensitivity analysis on MCFC fuel utilization factor

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Fig. 7

Sensitivity analysis on MCFC anode recycle ratio

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Fig. 8

Effect of the Ts/Tp ratio on the ejector performance. Labels refer to the MCFC recycle rate.

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Fig. 9

Sensitivity analysis on MCFC/SOFC power ratio

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Fig. 10

Performance indexes relative variation for different design parameters



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