Research ArticleAPPLIED SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING

A simple high-performance matrix-free biomass molten carbonate fuel cell without CO2 recirculation

Science Advances  17 Aug 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 8, e1600772
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600772

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Abstract

In previous reports, flowing CO2 at the cathode is essential for either conventional molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) based on molten carbonate/LiAlO2 electrolytes or matrix-free MCFCs. For the first time, we demonstrate a high-performance matrix-free MCFC without CO2 recirculation. At 800°C, power densities of 430 and 410 mW/cm2 are achieved when biomass—bamboo charcoal and wood, respectively–is used as fuel. At 600°C, a stable performance is observed during the measured 90 hours after the initial degradation. In this MCFC, CO2 is produced at the anode when carbon-containing fuels are used. The produced CO2 then dissolves and diffuses to the cathode to react with oxygen in open air, forming the required Embedded Image or Embedded Image ions for continuous operation. The dissolved Embedded Image ions may also take part in the cell reactions. This provides a simple new fuel cell technology to directly convert carbon-containing fuels such as carbon and biomass into electricity with high efficiency.

Keywords
  • Biomass
  • molten carbonate fuel cell
  • CO2 recirculation
  • carbon

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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