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Research Papers

Flow Uniformity of Catalytic Burner for Off-Gas Combustion of Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
Sangmin Lee, Kook Young Ahn, Young Duk Lee

 Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials, Yuseong Gu, Daejeon, Korea

Jaeyoung Han, Sangseok Yu

 Chungnam National University, Yuseong Gu, Daejeon, Korea

Seokyeon Im

 Korea Intellectual Property Office, Seo Gu, Daejon, Korea

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 9(2), 021006 (Mar 19, 2012) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005610 History: Received September 02, 2011; Revised September 25, 2011; Published March 07, 2012; Online March 19, 2012

A catalytic combustor is a device to burn off fuel by surface combustion that is used for the combustion of anode off-gas of molten carbonate fuel cells by employing the catalytic combustor. Purified exhaust gas can be recirculated into the cathode channel for CO2 supply to improve thermal efficiency. The design of a catalytic combustor depends on many parameters, but flow uniformity is particularly important during the emergency shut-down of a fuel cell stack. Before the temperature control of a catalytic combustor is activated, the catalytic combustor should burn off more than two times the rated amount of the fuel flow rate. Under overload conditions, assurance of flow uniformity at the inlet of the catalytic combustor can reduce damage to the catalytic burner that can be caused by a local hot zone. In this study, flow uniformity of the catalytic combustor was investigated in two steps: a preliminary step with a model combustor and a main analysis step with a practical 250 kW catalytic combustor. Models of the 0.5 and 5 kW class combustors were used in the preliminary step. In the preliminary step the model combustors were used to determine supporting matters for flow uniformity. The inlet direction of the mixing chamber below the catalytic combustor was also examined in the preliminary step. In the main analysis step the flow uniformity of the scale-up combustor was examined with selected supporting matter and inlet direction into the mixing chamber. Geometric and operating parameters were investigated. In particular, the flow rate under off-design operating conditions was examined.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Experimental apparatus of flow uniformity of 0.5 kW class model catalytic combustor

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Figure 2

Schematics of 0.5 kW model combustor

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Figure 3

Schematic diagram of staggered perforated plates

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Figure 4

250 kW class experimental apparatus of flow uniformity of a catalytic combustor

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Figure 5

Visualization of premixed flame of methane/air (0.5 kW class, case 1)

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Figure 6

Visualization of premixed flame of methane/air combustion (0.5 kW class, case 2)

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Figure 7

Distribution of line velocity at the exit of honeycomb catalyst without swirl inside the mixing chamber (case 1)

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Figure 8

Distribution of line velocity at the exit of the 0.5 kW honeycomb catalyst over two different inlet conditions inside the mixing chamber

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Figure 9

Effect of supporting matters on the distribution of line velocity at the exit of the 5 kW honeycomb catalyst

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Figure 10

Distribution of line velocity in relation to diameter variation of perforation holes

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Figure 11

Distribution of line velocity in terms of inlet flow rates into the mixing chamber

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Figure 12

Pressure drops with various diameter perforated plate in terms of inlet flow rates

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Figure 13

Distribution of line velocity with two different numbers of perforated plates under reference conditions (D = 4 mm, Q = 1421 Nm3 /hr)

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