Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - BIOFUCEL (Development of solid oxide fuel cells technology for stationary applications based on biomass gasification and natural gas)

The European community project BIOFUCEL was completed in the frames of Marie Curie fellowships for the transfer of knowledge. The project significantly increased long term research capabilities of the institute of power engineering (IEn, Warsaw, Poland), project coordinator, by developing and establishing a new competence in the fuel cells integrated with biomass gasification. It also allowed partial transition from the coal oriented research to a new for the institute of power engineering direction of sustainable energy systems, coherent with the Poland obligations to the European Commission (EC) of the increasing of renewable energy generation on the Polish market.

Since IEn didn't have any research staff with sufficiently advanced knowledge and experience in the field of fuel cell technology, three senior researchers were invited to IEn for two-year period. In addition, exchange of researchers was implemented with Otto-von-Guericke University in Germany (in the field of fuel cells) and Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden (in the field high-temperature combustion and gasification). Extensive training program implemented in the four-year timeframe, resulted in four scientific and training BIOFUCEL workshops organised each year by the Institute of Power Engineering, numerous lectures and presentations were given by both invited, exchange and trained researchers. One PhD thesis was defended on the subject of fuel cell research and development.

As a result of research, gas stream resulting from the biomass gasification in the air-blown gasifier was optimised for Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) applications. Suitability of cleaned syngas from biomass gasification as a fuel for the SOFC systems was proven using simulated gases as a fuel for SOFC cells. Significant progress was also achieved in stabilisation and advancement of the manufacturing process for high temperature fuel cells (ES-SOFC and AS-SOFC). Several methods of depositing thin films of electrolyte on the porous anode support have been tested, including one in-house developed technology. Controllable electrolyte thickness in the range of 6 to 10 microns was achieved. The performance of anode supported SOFC cells was tested with electrochemical methods. The anode supported cells show satisfactory performance and further work on their optimisation and scale-up is pursued. Testing procedures for SOFC cells were advanced, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy methods in particular.

In the field of SOFC stack and process, research was concentrated on stack components development and design methods (seals, interconnectors, support plates, gas reactant distribution). The short SOFC stack was designed and assembled. Four test stations, (for testing performance and characteristics of single cells, short stacks and full scale stack) have been designed and assembled. Significant design oriented modelling capabilities has been developed for the cell, stack and process design. Advancement of research capabilities at the institute of power engineering in the fields of fuel cells and biomass gasification resulted in increased European cooperation and participation in three Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) projects.

In addition, several Polish, national projects were initiated in this area, including scientific consortium among four Polish research and development organisations. Laboratory for SOFC technology research and development was established at the institute of power engineering, in addition to existing cell manufacturing laboratory, with equipment and testing facilities allowing advanced cell, stack and process testing.

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5, Augustowska
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