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Novel Process for CO2 capture from natural gas fueled SOFC generators

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DESC0020878
Agency Tracking Number: 0000252116
Amount: $249,988.58
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 24c
Solicitation Number: DEFOA0002146
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-06-29
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-03-28
Small Business Information
410SackettPointRoad
NorthHaven, CT 06473
United States
DUNS: 178154456
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Subir Roychoudhury
 (203) 287-3700
 sroychoudhury@precisioncombustion.com
Business Contact
 Anthony Anderson
Phone: (203) 287-3700
Email: aanderson@precisioncombustion.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

The United States has demonstrated a growing focus on renewable energy; however, fossil fueled energy sources still constitute over 80% of energy use in the United States. Fossil fuels will remain of driving importance in energy use, so identifying means to enhance clean and efficient power generating with fossil fuels remains a driving force. Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) systems offer an opportunity to meet these goals, however they are not sufficiently efficient and durable in fielded applications. Additionally, the SOFC effluent has ~50 mole % (dry) CO2 concentrations and is economically unattractive for carbon capture. To address these concerns, an SOFC generator design is proposed for achieving significantly higher fuel to electric efficiency for reduced CO2 generation and a means for simultaneously concentrating the CO2 in the effluent is proposed. Key risks will be mitigated, a model, validated with experimental data, will be matured during Phase I, and economic viability assessed. During Phase II, a subscale demonstrator will be fabricated and used to further refine the model for scale up. To address SOFC commercialization hurdles, the ability to operate a SOFC system at high fuel to electric efficiency, without damaging the cells, and obtaining a concentrated CO2 effluent offers a path to reduce capital, operation, and maintenance costs. Concentrated CO2 exhaust will further reduce environmental impact by offering a path to economical CO2 capture. This combination of higher efficiency and simultaneous CO2 capture will support commercial penetration of SOFC systems into energy production markets. During Phase I, PCI will develop a comprehensive natural gas fueled, SOFC generator design that allows direct CO2 capture and very high fuel-to-electric efficiencies. A fully-consistent process model will be developed via a commercially available software platform with supporting data derived from testing of SOFC stacks at PCI to validate the model. A detailed layout, flow model, and other balance of plant component performance data will be developed and reported. Utility for other fuels of interest will be examined. A comprehensive economic assessment, including for CO2 capture, will be developed via DOE’s Commercialization Assistance Program. A natural gas fueled, pressurized SOFC generator design that allows direct CO2 capture and very high fuel-to- electric efficiencies offers a significant advance in SOFC operation, improving lifetimes, efficiencies, operating costs, maintenance costs, and reliability. The SOFC market is projected to reach >$1 billion by 2025, with a 13.8% CAGR. This growth is expected to continue to >$5.4B during the commercialization period and further drive the need to enhance operational efficiency and even further reduce environmental impacts of SOFC stacks and systems.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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