Direct carbon fuel cells (DCFCs) have great thermodynamic advantages over other high temperature fuel cells such as molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) and solid oxide fuel cells. They can have 100% fuel utilization, no Nernst loss (at the anode), and the CO2 produced at the anode is not mixed with other gases and is ready for re-use or sequestration. So far, only studies have been reported on cell development. In this paper, we study the performance of a CO2-producing DCFC system model. The theoretically predicted advantages that are confirmed on a bench scale are also confirmed on a system level, except for the production of pure CO2. Net system efficiencies of around 78% were found for the developed system. An exergy analysis of the system shows where the losses in the system occur. If the cathode of the DCFC must be operated as a standard MCFC cathode, the required CO2 at the cathode is the reason why a large part of the pure CO2 from the anode is recycled and mixed with the incoming air and cannot be used directly for sequestration. Bench scale studies should be performed to test the minimum amount of CO2 needed at the cathode. This might be lower than in a standard MCFC operation due to the pure CO2 at the anode side that enhances diffusion toward the cathode.

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