An experimental investigation on a novel electrolyte configuration for molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) is presented. A single cell facility was built. The cell is characterized by a cylindrical geometry in order to reduce the structural and thermodynamic problems which affect the lifetime of the traditional rectangular shape MCFCs. The main aim of this research is to evaluate the possibility of not installing the porous ceramic matrix in order to reduce the gas crossover problems of MCFCs and improve the cell lifetime. Thus, the new single cell was mainly constituted by the porous electrodes, the liquid electrolyte and structural disks as electrolytic support. Different solutions were studied as mechanical support for the electrolyte. Experimental tests on the proposed solutions were performed. Results suggested that the proposed adjustments are a promising solution for increasing the lifetime of cylindrical MCFCs and reducing their costs.

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