H-PAC - Hydrogène et Pile à Combustible

Technical, economic and environmental feasibility of solide oxyde fuel cells (SOFC) for electricity generation from biogas – PILE-EAU-BIOGAZ

Submission summary

The program ANR H-PAC 2010 (quotation) "aims to contribute to the development of French industrial sector of fuel cells for stationary applications ..." expecting essentially four types of technical solutions, namely "the implementation of innovative materials more robust and reliable, the integration of components into new systems at competitive cost for the types of applications covered, the design and integration of systems including intelligent management of energy and finally evaluate the introduction of hydrogen & fuel cells in the energy management system (combined heat and power, management of renewable energy and distributed generation)".

In fact, SOFC is highly energy efficient, allowing high electrical efficiency (> 45%), much higher than those of gas turbines (15-25%) or internal combustion motors (20-30%). In addition, the SOFC can be supplied with various types of fuels other than hydrogen, including natural gas (rich in CH4) but also of biogas (mainly mixture CH4/CO2). This biogas is an attractive source of renewable energy because it comes from the anaerobic digestion of biomass. When biomass is a fatal residue (i.e. sludge from sewage treatment plants or fermentable fraction of household waste), the environmental benefit is even greater. However, the requirement for pre-processing biogas sufficient for good performance of the SOFC stack is now unknown.

This research project proposes to demonstrate at real-conditions in a wastewater treatment plant the feasibility of coupling a treated biogas into a SOFC stack and identify the processing system for a minimum biogas treatment for the production of electricity and heat co-generation for stationary applications. The main deliverable of the project will be the on-site operation of a SOFC under biogas for a few hundred hours. This will include specifications that are necessary to overcome the presence of some minority biogas, such as sulfur or halogenated compounds, which can be particularly harmful for use in fuel cells. To do this, new anode materials for tolerance to impurities will be proposed in this project as well as the biogas upgrading techniques well suited to such application to ensure the performance and sustainability of an SOFC operated on biogas.

Project coordinator

CLAIRE LABOURE (SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT) – Claire.LABOURE@suez-env.com

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

GDF SUEZ GDF SUEZ
N-GHY N-GHY
ENERCAT
SE SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT
CEA COMMISSARIAT A L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES
LEPMI / CNRS CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE - DELEGATION REGIONALE RHONE-ALPES SECTEUR ALPES
LGCIE INSTITUT NATIONAL DES SCIENCES APPLIQUEES DE LYON - INSA

Help of the ANR 1,152,780 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 36 Months

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