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Oxidative dry-reforming of biogas: Reactor design and SOFC system integration

: Jahn, Matthias; Heddrich, Marc Philipp; Weder, Aniko; Reichelt, Erik; Lange, Rüdiger


Energy technology 1 (2013), No.1, pp.48-58
ISSN: 2194-4288
ISSN: 2194-4296
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IKTS ()
biogas; steam reforming; synthesis gas; system integration; thermodynamic

Biogas is an attractive fuel for solid oxide fuel cell applications because of the high CO2 content. Its composition allows a high electrical efficiency without adding external water to the system. Because of the CO2 reforming reaction only a very small amount of air is needed for partial oxidation, which is why the process could be called oxidative dry-reforming. Herein, this concept is demonstrated by a thermodynamic analysis of the process and experimental system and component results. In order to realize a high yield of electrical power from the SOFC stack, a large flow of chemical energy into the stack is needed. To achieve this goal the efficiency of the reforming process is essential. With optimized reforming conditions it is possible to increase the chemical energy content of the fuel by adding an ample amount of heat to the reforming step. To achieve this in practice, the necessary heat flow to the reformer has to be calculated for a given operating temperature. Based on these thermodynamic calculations a reactor was built and tested. After successful laboratory tests the reactor was integrated into an SOFC system, where the necessary heat for the reforming step was supplied by the afterburner. The results of the component tests were verified under system conditions. Based on this system concept a high value for the electrical efficiency (eta el>0.5) of the system was achieved.