Fuel cells are considered to be one of the main sources of future power supply around the world because of their many desirable features; technology virtually free of pollution, the ability to use alternative fuels other than fossil fuels, and higher efficiencies than combustion engines. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) can operate on a wide range of fuels, particularly with coal syngas. However, several issues have to be solved before SOFC’s operating on coal syngas can be introduced into the market as a reliable and cost viable technology. Numerical simulations can be used in conjunction with experiments to assist in resolution of such barriers. In the present work, a three-dimensional model is used to study the performance of a SOFC running on coal syngas operating at various conditions. The code is capable of simulating several species in the fuel stream, such as methane, steam, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, carbon dioxide. Due to the presence of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, simultaneous electrochemical oxidation of both fuels is considered. Internal reforming and water gas shift reaction are other processes that are taken into account. Simulations of typical anode-supported button cells are performed to assess the effects of cell operating temperature, fuel composition and CO electrochemistry on the performance of the button SOFCs.

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