Addressing the fuel distribution and endothermic cooling by the internal reforming, we have measured longitudinal current/temperature variations by "Electrode-segmentation" in a microtubular solid oxide fuel cell operated with syngas (50% pre-reformed methane) and equivalent H2/N2 (100% conversion of syngas to H2) at three different flow rates. Regardless of the syngas flow rates, currents and temperatures show irregular fluctuations with varying amplitudes from upstream to downstream segment. Analysis of the fluctuations suggests that the methane steam reforming reaction is highly affected by the H2 partial pressure. Current-voltage curves plotted for the syngas and equivalent H2/N2 flow rates reveal that the fuel depletion is enhanced toward the downstream during the syngas operation, resulting in a larger performance degradation. All the segments exhibit temperature drops with the syngas flow compared with the equivalent H2/N2 flow due to the endothermic cooling by the methane steam reforming reaction. Despite the drops, the segment temperatures remain above the furnace temperature; besides, the maximum temperature difference along the cell diminishes. The MSR reaction rate does not consistently increase with the decreasing gas inlet velocity (increasing residence time on the catalyst); which we ascribe to the dominating impact of the local temperatures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering