Solid oxide fuel cells operate at high temperature and consequently the internal reforming of hydrocarbons, for example methane, can easily be achieved. Nevertheless, since the reforming process is strongly endothermic, internal temperature gradients can be generated, thus producing considerable limitations to the fuel cell operation. Moreover, total internal reforming can lead to carbon deposition in the anode component. In order to avoid these problems total internal reforming is generally not conducted, and part of the fuel is externally pre-reformed. In the present study, different options for the pre-conversion process are considered. The relative system performances are evaluated through a thermodynamic analysis and numerical simulations.

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