Effects of Synthesis Gas Concentration, Composition, and Operational Time on Tubular Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Performance

Alexander R. Hartwell, Cole A. Wilhelm, Thomas S. Welles, Ryan J. Milcarek, Jeongmin Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


There is tremendous potential to utilize the exhaust gases and heat already present within combustion chambers to generate electrical power via solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Variations in system design have been investigated as well as thorough examinations into the impacts of environmental conditions and fuel composition/concentration on SOFC performance. In an attempt to isolate the impacts of carbon monoxide and hydrogen concentration ratios within the exhaust stream, this work utilizes multi-temperature performance analyses with simulated methane combustion exhaust as fuel combined with dilute hydrogen baseline tests. These comparisons reveal the impacts of the complex reaction pathways carbon monoxide participates in when used as an SOFC fuel. Despite these complexities, performance reductions as a result of the presence of carbon monoxide are low when compared to similarly dilute hydrogen as a fuel. This provides further motivation for the continued development of SOFC-CHP systems. Stability testing performed over 80 h reveals the need for careful control of the operating environment as well as signs of carbon deposition. As a result of gas flow disruption, impacts of anode oxidation that may normally not hinder power production become significant factors in addition to coarsening of the anode material. Thermal management and strategies to minimize these impacts are a topic of future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7983
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • combined heat and power (CHP)
  • flame-assisted fuel cell (FFC)
  • solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)
  • synthesis gas (syngas)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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