Bio-Ethanol Fueled SOFC System
This proposal directly supports development of alternative and renewable energy. Specifically,
this project involves development and demonstration of a simplified method for operating solid
oxide fuel cells directly on bio-ethanol. Renewable bio-fuels, such as ethanol, present significant
advantages for next generation power systems, such as fuel cells; they are carbon-neutral, they
are energy dense in contrast to gaseous fuels such as hydrogen, and they have simple chemical
structures that lend themselves to simple utilization. Fuel cells efficiently and cleanly generate
power from hydrocarbons, producing electrical energy by electrochemical oxidation of a fuel.
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) offer a particularly attractive opportunity for high-efficiency
power generation from biofuels, because the bio-ethanol does not have to be completely refined
and does not need to be completely converted to hydrogen before being used as fuel.
Furthermore, the use of biofuels avoids system complexities and pollution related to sulfur
impurities that are present in fossil fuels. In Phase I of this project, steam reforming catalysts
will be developed that meet specific requirements for use with solid oxide fuel cells. In Phase II,
the technology will be demonstrated in an SOFC stack operating on bio-ethanol fuel. The
demonstration of renewable biofuels and solid-oxide environmentally responsible and efficient
power generation will provide impetus for establishing a bio-ethanol infrastructure, leading to a
new agricultural industry based on crop production and bio-fuel manufacturing. An ethanolfueled
SOFC system would provide a renewable, high efficiency, low emissions power
technology naturally suited to distributed generation in rural and remote locations.
Small Business Information at Submission:
NexTech Materials, Ltd.
404 Enterprise Drive Lewis Center, OH 43035
Number of Employees: