Conventional thermal power generation, as typified by gas turbines, has steadily increased power generation efficiency by elevating temperature of heat, but there is a limit to the maximum availability of electric energy. Exergy rate is a unified index indicating the quality of energy in deferent forms. We have no way in thermal conversion to extract all of the availability, while almost hydrocarbon fuels have exergy rate around 95%. 25% of exergy is inevitably lost through the combustion process from chemical to heat at maximum temperature of 2000°C. Hydrogen’s low exergy rate provides “exergy recuperation” in which degrading 12% from 95% to 83% can take low quality heat up to availability of 83% as a kind of chemical heat pump. Chemically Recuperated Gas Turbine (CRGT) is a specific example, and dimethyl ether (DME) is one of the most suitable fuels because steam reforming occurs around 300°C. Electrochemical partial oxidation (EPOx) is another way to convert mid-quality heat into electric energy as much as difference between change in Gibbs free energy and change in enthalpy. This paper reports concept and industrially-feasible applications of this unconventional and non-cascadic use of heat.

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