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Use of biofuels in solid oxide fuel cells

An EU-funded initiative has conducted demonstrations of renewable biofuels in highly efficient electrochemical generators together with combined heat and power (CHP) plants and carbon dioxide (CO2) recovery and carbon reuse.

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The SOFCOM (SOFC CCHP with poly-fuel: Operation and maintenance) project demonstrated the technical feasibility, efficiency and environmental advantages of CHP systems based on solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology. The fuel cell is fed by biogas and bio-syngas and the CO2 is removed from exhaust gases and reused. Project partners built two demonstration biogenous fuel-fed SOFC systems. The first was in Turin, Italy and featured a SOFC system fed with biogas produced from an industrial water treatment unit. The plant operated with a CHP unit that recovered exhaust heat to produce hot water and separated out CO2 for use in a bioreactor filled with algae. The second system was based in Helsinki, Finland and comprised a SOFC stack operating with syngas from biomass gasification and focused on gas processing for fuelling the fuel cell system. Researchers ensured that the proof-of-concept fuel cell systems were fully integrated with biomass processing units and carbon handling and sequestration technologies. They also investigated the impact of pollutants on SOFC and advances in cleaning and processing technologies as well as the maintenance, safety and decommissioning of fuel cells. The concept of SOFCOM is one of complete energy and material recovery (in particular, carbon recovery) with negative CO2 emissions. This will have a positive impact on society and the environment through the sustainable management of energy and its related effects on the global climate.


Biofuels, solid oxide fuel cells, combined heat and power, carbon dioxide, carbon reuse, SOFCOM

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