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Issue 1, 2008
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Electrochemical oxidation of solid carbon in hybrid DCFC with solid oxide and molten carbonate binary electrolyte

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Abstract

The hybrid direct carbon fuel cell (HDCFC) with solid oxide and molten carbonate binary electrolyte merges solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and molten carbonate fuel cell technologies to achieve direct conversion of solid carbon to electric power. The purpose of this study is to investigate in detail the electrochemistry of the oxidation of solid carbon in the carbon/carbonate slurry in the HDCFC. A planar test cell has been fabricated employing conventional SOFC materials and a eutectic carbonate mixture of lithium carbonate and potassium carbonate. The HDCFC with a model fuel, carbon black XC-72R, shows very high open circuit voltages (OCVs), approximately 1.5 V at 550–700 °C, especially after a high temperature operation at 900 °C, where carbonate decomposes to O2− and CO2. The carbon/carbonate slurry increases the active reaction zone from a two-dimensional Ni/YSZ anode to a three-dimensional slurry and significantly enhances the carbon oxidation. The high OCV is probably due to the low activity of CO2 in the slurry, which results from the recombination of CO2 and O2−. Gaseous products were analysed using an online gas chromatograph, and CO2 and CO were detected, with their selectivity found to be dependent on temperature. Solid carbon is electrochemically oxidised to CO2 and the final distribution of the products is dominated by the equilibrium of the Boudouard reaction (C + CO2 ⇄ 2CO).

Graphical abstract: Electrochemical oxidation of solid carbon in hybrid DCFC with solid oxide and molten carbonate binary electrolyte

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Mar 2008, accepted on 13 May 2008 and first published on 17 Jun 2008


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B804785E
Energy Environ. Sci., 2008,1, 148-155

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    Electrochemical oxidation of solid carbon in hybrid DCFC with solid oxide and molten carbonate binary electrolyte

    Y. Nabae, K. D. Pointon and J. T. S. Irvine, Energy Environ. Sci., 2008, 1, 148
    DOI: 10.1039/B804785E

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