West Virginia University (WVU) will identify the fundamental mechanisms of carbon deposition and coal contaminant poisoning of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) and develop novel materials to minimize the impact of these contaminants on fuel cell performance. The effects of trace contaminants found in coal will be characterized, and remedies for any adverse effects proposed. The research will focus on the modeling, manufacture, and testing of SOFCs fueled by simulated coal gas.
This project focuses on characterizing the effects of impurities found in syngas, developing a model to predict SOFC life when operating on syngas, and developing contaminant-resistant anode materials. Improved cell/stack life and performance will reduce operating cost and increase efficiency, resulting in reduction in the cost of electricity and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from the entire platform. Specifically, this project will conduct long-term accelerated anode exposure tests to syngas contaminants, build a model based on the experimental data to predict the lifetime of the anode operating on syngas, and design and develop alternative anode components that are contaminant tolerant.
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