Skip to main content

Operational tests of SOFC modules and use of SOFC as chemical reactors


Investigation of the operational behaviour of up to 100 W SOFC stacks especially with regard to internal reforming and the application of SOFC as a chemical reactor for the partial oxidation of methane to produce ethane and ethylene with simultaneous generation of electricity (chemical co-generation).

Dornier will design and construct the test facility and manufacture up to 100 W tubular SOFC stacks. Tests of the operational behaviour of these SOFC will be carried out. In particular internal reforming of methane will be investigated. (With internal reforming waste heat of the fuel cell is used to transform methane into hydrogen and carbon monoxide in the fuel cell. In this way an expensive external reformer is not needed, which can lead to a significant cost reduction, lower cooling requirements and a higher overall efficiency). Important questions with respect to future SOFC plants will be studied such as start up/shut down procedures, effects of: changing fuel utilization, changing operation temperature, part load, load following avoidance of carbon deposition. At the end of the contract period also flat plate stacks will be tested.

The University of Patras will explore the possibility to use SOFC as a chemical reactor for oxidation processes, where instead of hydrogen other chemicals are oxidized to produce both chemicals and electricity (chemical co-generation). R&D will be carried out on the transformation of methane to C2H4 and C2H6 (e.g. identification of suitable catalysts). Also the possibilities of the NEMCA effect (discovered under a previous EC contract) to increase the yield and selectivity for these reactions will be explored. This work will be carried out with tubular SOFC with nickel based anodes.


Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH
An Der Bundesstraße 31
88039 Friedrichshafen

Participants (1)

Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas
Stadiou 18, Platani
26500 Patras