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Development and adaption of the molten carbonate fuel cell with internal reforming for the use of CO/CO2 rich gases, e.g. coal gas


Based upon leading American technology a combined experimental and theoretical study of molten carbonate fuel cells for CO/CO2 - rich gases or coal gas will be performed with the objectives to clarify operational behaviour, lifetimes, requirements on gas composition and purity, performance and efficiencies versus load cycles, thermal cycles, partial load and lifetime, etc.

Development of basic design and determination of operating parameters for coal gas molten carbonate fuel cell power plants.

Tests of a MCFC stack for CO/CO2-rich gases, such as coal gas from a coal gasifier, under operational conditions of power production and co-generation, including electrical load cycles, thermal cycles, variations of fuel gas composition and zero load periods under external heating. The performance of this stack will be in the range between 10 and 20 kW, depending on it's availability in 1992.

Especially the data concerning efficiency, conversion rate, performance and maximum load capability versus operational hours and number of load cycles will give the possibility to gain reliable data of operational and economical lifetime of coal gas fed direct MCFC.

Specification and evaluation of the basic design parameters of coal gas fed direct MCFC power plants and co-generation plants in major load levels.

Investigations concerning the sensitivity of the cost of electricity (COE) versus fuel cell cost and cost of balance of system (BOS).

This programme will be executed in two phases. Phase I (1990 - 1991) described here comprises the following activities :

Planning and erection of test facilities for a coal gas molten carbonate fuel cell stack up to 20 kW to perform tests under realistic operational conditions, power cycles, partial load, idling with external heating, changes in fuel composition, etc. The tests itself will be carried out in phase II of the programme.

Specification and definition of the basic design parameters for CGMCFC power plants including the data of the necessary bottoming cycling systems in combination with gas and steam turbines for utilization of the exhaust gases and the generated heat.

Economic study and evaluation of the sensitivity of investment cost and cost of electricity versus stack production cost and lifetime of stack and versus fuel cost.

Feasibility study concerning the utilization of the anode exhaust gas containing hydrogen as feed gas for the coal gasifier in order to increase the methane content of the coal gas. Evaluation of the impact on the overall efficiency.

The present contract only covers phase I. Phase II is planned for execution during 1992 and 1993.


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Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm GmbH (MBB)
EU contribution
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81611 München

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