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Research Papers

The Scale Up Characteristics of a Catalytic Combustor With Flow Uniformity Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
Jinwon Yun, Sangseok Yu

Chungnam National University,
Yuseong Gu,
Daejon 305764, South Korea

Kookyoung Ahn

Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials,
Yuseong Gu,
Daejon 305764, South Korea

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received October 19, 2012; final manuscript received July 30, 2013; published online October 17, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Umberto Desideri.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 11(1), 011002 (Oct 17, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: FC-12-1108; doi: 10.1115/1.4025521 History: Received October 19, 2012; Revised July 30, 2013

Catalytic combustors are used as off-gas combustors of molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) because of their exhaust gas purity, geometric flexibility, and high combustion efficiency. In this study, a new design was investigated for possible application in internally reformed MCFC. The study started with performance analysis of a 5 kWe combustor, which could be precisely conducted due to availability of experimental apparatus. A 5 kWe combustor was used as a model combustor, and it was experimentally analyzed in terms of flow uniformity, catalyst screening, and reaction characteristics. The results show that the flow uniformity is able to reduce the exhaust gas concentration because temperature uniformity decreases the possibility of fuel slippages in locally lower temperature zones. As the capacity of the combustor is increased from 5 kWe to 25 kWe, the exhaust gas temperature at the same inlet condition as that of the 5 kWe combustor increases due to lower heat loss. As a result, the catalyst screening process shows different results due to higher operating temperatures, but three of four catalysts provide proper quality. On the other hand, flow uniformity improves economic competitiveness of the catalytic combustor. When the volume loading of catalytic monoliths was decreased, the performance was very similar to that of the original volume loading of catalytic monoliths.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

MCFC system schematic diagram

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Fig. 2

Experimental setup for performance evaluation of a 5 kWe catalytic combustor

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Fig. 3

Design structure of the catalytic combustor

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Fig. 4

Test facility of a 25 kWe catalytic combustor

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Fig. 5

Effects of perforated plates on flow uniformity in terms of velocity profiles of 5 kWe catalytic combustor: (a) Type A, (b) Type B

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Fig. 6

Effect of perforated plates on exhaust gas purity of a 5 kWe catalytic combustor

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Fig. 7

Comparison of temperature and velocity distribution in cross section direction of catalyst (gas inlet temperature: 250 °C)

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Fig. 8

Effect of inlet temperature on exhaust gas purity of a 5 kWe catalytic combustor

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Fig. 9

Effect of catalysts on performance of a 5 kWe catalytic combustor

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Fig. 10

Effect of perforated plates on flow uniformity of a 25 kWe catalytic combustor: (a) Type A, (b) Type B

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Fig. 11

Effect of catalysts on performance of a 25 kWe catalytic combustor: (a) CO emissions over various catalysts; (b) CH4 emission over various catalysts

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Fig. 12

Gas concentrations and temperature at the exit of catalytic combustors (5 kWe class and 25 kWe class catalytic combustors)

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Fig. 13

Effect of volume loadings of catalytic monoliths (Inlet gas temperature: 200 °C, Case 1: 100% loading, without two staggered perforated plates; Case 2: 70% loading, with two staggered perforated plates)

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