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Preliminary design of a small-scale system for the conversion of biogas to electricity by HT-PEM fuel cell

: Birth, Torsten; Heineken, Wolfram; He, Ling


Biomass and bioenergy 65 (2014), S.20-27
ISSN: 0961-9534
European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EU BC&E) <21, 2013, Kopenhagen>
Fraunhofer IFF ()

In this work a novel concept for the decentralized conversion of biogas to electricity is introduced. It consists of five segments: gas supply, gas treatment, gas reforming, gas usage and post-combustion. The system was designed in a regional project called GREEN-FC. The project is dealing with a design study for the conversion of 1 m(3) h(-1) biogas to electricity, based on equilibrium calculations for steam reforming and water gas shift reaction in combination with CFD simulations. The simulation results revealed that the system converts methane fully and delivers a maximum yield of hydrogen with a low concentration of carbon monoxide, thus making it suitable for a high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cell. The calculated electrical efficiency of the novel process is approximately 40%. Another important result of this work is the modular prototype design, because the individual components of the prototype can be replaced. For example alternative reactors that convert biogas into hydrogen and other technologies that use hydrogen can be included.