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Diesel auto-thermal reforming for solid oxide fuel cell systems: Anode off-gas recycle simulation

Walluk, Mark R., Lin, Jiefeng, Waller, Michael G., Smith, Daniel F., Trabold, Thomas A.
Applied energy 2014 v.130 pp. 94-102
air, air flow, anodes, carbon, carbon dioxide, catalysts, cost effectiveness, fuel cells, fuels, recycling, steam, synthesis gas, temperature, thermodynamic models
Diesel auto-thermal reformation (ATR) with solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack anode off-gas recycle (AOGR) has a reliable steam recycling supply to the reformer and improves overall system efficiency. For the lab-scale experiments, it is crucial to develop a cost-effective technique to simulate the AOGR effects on hydrocarbon catalytic reformation due to safety and cost considerations of providing the full recycle composition in the absence of fuel cell stack hardware. The present work combined thermodynamic modeling and experiments to compare diesel ATR performance with AOGR and with direct water/air inputs as recycle simulation (RS). Variations of input water and air flow were employed to simulate the effects of recycle gas on syngas production and to analyze the contribution of recycled CO2 dry reforming. A single-tube reformer with Rh/CeO2–ZrO2 catalyst was used for diesel ATR experiments with a photo-acoustic micro-soot meter to monitor carbon formation in the reformate effluent. Experimental results suggest water and air input flows are two key variables to simulate performance of diesel ATR with AOGR, whereas gas hourly space velocity and reforming temperature do not significantly affect the recycle simulation process in syngas production. The optimum AOGR ratio for an SOFC stack with 65% fuel utilization was identified as 45% for diesel ATR to achieve maximum syngas production and reforming efficiency with a given input air flow.