Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) have the attractive feature to be able to make use of hydrocarbon fuels in their operation by reforming the fuel into pure hydrogen, either internally or externally. This can open up for a smoother transition from the existing hydro-carbon economy toward a more renewable hydrogen economy. Since both SOFCs and internal combustion (IC) engines can make use of hydrocarbon fuels, it is of interest to examine the major differences in their utilization of the hydrocarbons and investigate how this type of fuel contributes to the power output of the respective systems. Thereby, various advantages and disadvantages of their reactions are raised. It was shown that even though there are fundamental differences between SOFCs and IC engines, both types face similar problems in their designs. These problems mostly include material design and operation management, but even problems related to the chemical reactions, e.g., carbon deposition for SOFCs and pollutant formation for IC engines.

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