High temperature fuel cells, such as Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells (MCFC), are prime candidates for power generation using natural gas. Currently MCFC-based products are available for on-site power generation using natural gas and methane-rich biogas. These systems use the most advanced stack configuration utilizing internal reforming of methane. The in-situ reforming within the fuel cell anode provides many operational benefits including stack cooling at high current densities. Syngas from a variety of sources such as coal, biomass and renewables are anticipated to play a key role in the future landscape of power generation. MCFC is capable of utilizing syngss to produce electric power at a very high efficiency. However, because of the differences in the gas compositions between natural-gas and syngas, the fuel cell stack and system designs need to be modified for syngas fuels. The purpose of this study is to develop the design modifications at both the stack and system level needed for operation of internal reforming MCFC using low-methane content syngas without major design changes from the commercial product design. The net outcome of the investigation is a fuel cell system which meets the goals of being able to operate on low methane syngas within thermo-mechanical requirements of the fuel cell stack components. In this paper, we will describe the approach for modification of MCFC design and operating parameters for operation under syngas using both system level modeling and stack level mathematical modeling.

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