Research Papers

Process Simulation of a Neutral Emission Plant Using Chestnut’s Coppice Gasification and Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Fabio Orecchini1

CIRPS,  University of Rome “La Sapienza,” Via Eudosinna 18, Rome 00184, Italy

Enrico Bocci, Andrea Di Carlo

CIRPS,  University of Rome “La Sapienza,” Via Eudosinna 18, Rome 00184, Italy


Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 5(2), 021015 (Apr 21, 2008) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2784312 History: Received November 30, 2005; Revised June 08, 2006; Published April 21, 2008

The problem of CO2 emissions and the need to find new energy sources are pushing scientific research toward the use of high efficiency technologies for electric power generation that can exploit renewable energy sources—potentially neutral for the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Process simulations of advanced plants fed by biomass are a key step to develop renewable resources based high temperature fuel cell applications. The aim of this work is to predict the component behavior of a specific power plant mainly composed of a gasifier, a molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC), and a micro-gas-turbine (mGT) and fed by chestnut coppice, waste available in great quantity in Central Italy, as well as in several other European regions. The gasifier produces a gas with a high content of hydrogen and low content of char and tar. This syngas is exploited by the MCFC-mGT plant. The mGT, using the MCFC cathode outlet gases, shows through simulation to be able to operate the air compressor and produce further electrical power. Particular models for the MCFC and gasifier have been developed in FORTRAN by the authors and then interfaced to commercial software (CHEMCAD © ) to simulate the plant’s thermodynamic behavior. The results show the possibility of an extremely interesting “carbon neutral” plant configuration with high electrical and global efficiency (respectively, 41% and 86%), exclusively based on the use of renewable resources (biomass).

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Plant flow sheet

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Figure 2

Scheme of pyrolysis reaction

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Figure 5

Scheme of the reformer

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Figure 6

Reformer reaction curve

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Figure 7

Fuel cell’s temperature map (°C)



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