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RESEARCH PAPERS

Investigation of the Reaction of Ethanol-Steam Mixtures in a YSZ Electrochemical Reactor Operated in a Fuel Cell Mode

[+] Author and Article Information
Constantinos Poulianitis, Vasiliki Maragou, Aiyu Yan, Shuqin Song

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Thessaly, Leoforos Athinon, Pedion Areos, Volos, 383 34, Greece

Panagiotis Tsiakaras1

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Thessaly, Leoforos Athinon, Pedion Areos, Volos, 383 34, Greecetsiak@uth.gr

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 3(4), 459-463 (Feb 28, 2006) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2349529 History: Received November 30, 2005; Revised February 28, 2006

In the present investigation ethanol-water mixtures were directly fed to a yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrochemical reactor operated in a fuel cell mode and the preliminary results are presented and discussed. Polycrystalline films of platinum (Pt) and silver (Ag) were, respectively, tested as anode catalysts in a wide range of experimental conditions while the cathode was exposed to the atmospheric air. The single direct ethanol solid oxide fuel cell (DE-SOFC) tests were performed in order to investigate separately Pt and Ag’s activities towards ethanol steam reaction and fuel cell performance (PtDESOFC and AgDESOFC). In both cases the products were on-line analyzed by a mass spectrograph, a gas chromatograph and a series of gas analysers under fuel cell mode of operation. The results showed that even at high temperature values (>750°C) the main products were CH3CHO, CH4, CO, H2, and CO2. Furthermore, as expected the single DESOFC performance was improved as the temperature increased. However, a relatively poor fuel cell performance has been obtained in both cases, which could be attributed to the following reasons: the relatively low (for YSZ electrolyte) operation temperature, the presence of homogeneous reactions, and the cell configuration.

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Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

(a) Schematic illustration of the experimental apparatus, and (b) three electrode system

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Figure 5

Single direct ethanol SOFC performances with Ag as the electrocatalyst at different temperatures. PEtOH,in=5.0kPa and PH2O,in=7.5kPa

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Figure 6

The cell performance comparison between the single SOFCs with Pt and Ag as the electrocatalyst, respectively, at different temperatures

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Figure 2

The effect of temperature on the concentration and the selectivity of the anode effluents of direct ethanol SOFC in the case of Pt as the electrocatalyst at different ethanol and water partial pressures, (a)PEtOH,in=3.5kPa and PH2O,in=7.5kPa, and (b)PEtOH,in=5.0kPa and PH2O,in=7.5kPa

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Figure 3

Single direct ethanol SOFC performances with Pt as the electrocatalyst at different temperatures; (a)PEtOH,in=3.5kPa and PH2O,in=7.5kPa, and (b)PEtOH,in=5.0kPa and PH2O,in=7.5kPa

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Figure 4

The effect of temperature on the concentration and the selectivity of the anode effluents of direct ethanol SOFC in the case of Ag as the electrocatalyst; PEtOH,in=2.5kPa and PH2O,in=5.0kPa

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