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.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Lee, C. G., Ahn, K. Y., Park, S. Y., Seo, H. K., and Lim, H. C., 2004, “Temperature Characteristics of the Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell Stack,” Trans. Korean Hydrogen New Energy Soc., 15, pp. 54–61.
Lee, Y. D., Lee, S. M., Ahn, K. Y., and Lim, H. C., 2006, “250kW Class MCFC–Gas Turbine Hybrid System,” Trans. Korean Fluid Mach. Assoc., 9, pp. 72–75.
Ghezel, A. H., Walzak, J., Patel, D., Daly, J., Maru, H., Sanderson, R., and Livingood, W., 2006, “State of Direct Fuel Cell/Turbine Systems Development,” J. Power Sources, 152, pp. 219–225. [CrossRef]
Larminie, J., and Dicks, A., 2003, Fuel Cell Systems Explained, 2nd ed., Wiley, New York, pp. 197–207.
Lee, C., and Lee, H. G., 1995, “NOx Reduction in the Staged Combustor of Gas Turbine,” J. Korean Soc. Aeronaut. Space Sci., 23, pp. 129–135.
Cocchi, S., Nutini, G., Spencer, M. J., and Nickolas, S. G., 2006, “Catalytic Combustion System for a 10 MW Class Power Generation Gas Turbine,” Catal. Today, 117, pp. 419–426. [CrossRef]
Hayes, R. E., and Kolacczkowski, S. T., 1997, Introduction to Catalytic Combustion, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, Amsterdam, p. 1–99.
Betta, R. A. D., and Nielsen, R. T., 1999, “Application of Catalytic Combustion to a 1.5 MW Industrial Gas Turbine,” Catal. Today, 47, pp. 369–375. [CrossRef]
Carroni, R., Schmidt, V., and Griffin, T., 2002, “Catalytic Combustion for Power Generation,” Catal. Today, 75, pp. 287–295. [CrossRef]
Betta, R. A. D., Schlatter, J. C., Yee, D. K., Loffler, D. G., and Shoji, T., 1995, “Catalytic Combustion Technology to Achieve Ultra Low NOx, Emissions: Catalyst Design and Performance Characteristics,” Catal. Today, 26, pp. 329–335. [CrossRef]
Khinast, J. G., Bauer, A., Bolz, D., and Panarello, A., 2003, “Mass-Transfer Enhancement by Static Mixers in a Wall-Coated Catalytic Reactor,” Chem. Eng. Sci., 58, pp. 1063–1070. [CrossRef]
Berg, M., Johansson, E. M., and Järås, S. G., 2000, “Catalytic Combustion of Low Heating Value Gas Mixtures: Comparison Between Laboratory and Pilot Scale Tests,” Catal. Today, 59, pp. 117–130. [CrossRef]
Liu, H., Li, P., and Lew, J. V., 2010, “CFD Study on Flow Distribution Uniformity in Fuel Distributors Having Multiple Structural Bifurcations of Flow Channels,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 35, pp. 9186–9198. [CrossRef]
Geus, J. W., and Giezen, J. C. V., 1999, “Monoliths in Catalytic Oxidation,” Catal. Today, 47, pp. 169–180. [CrossRef]
Lee, S. M., Lee, Y. D., Ahn, K. Y., Hong, D. J., and Kim, M. Y., 2007, “A Study on the Design of MCFC Off-Gas Catalytic Combustor,” Trans. Korean Hydrogen New Energy Soc., 18, pp. 406–412.
Yu, S. S., Hong, D. J., Lee, Y. D., Lee, S. M., and Ahn, K. Y., 2010, “Development of a Catalytic Combustor for a Stationary Fuel Cell Power Generation System,” Renewable Energy, 35, pp. 1083–1090. [CrossRef]
Munnannur, A., Cremeens, C. M., and Liu, Z. G., 2011, “Development of Flow Uniformity Indices for Performance Evaluation of Aftertreatment Systems,” SAE Int. J Engines, 4(1), pp. 1545–1555. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

MCFC system schematic diagram

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Experimental setup for performance evaluation of a 5 kWe catalytic combustor

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Design structure of the catalytic combustor

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Test facility of a 25 kWe catalytic combustor

Grahic Jump Location
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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Effect of catalysts on performance of a 5 kWe catalytic combustor

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

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

Grahic Jump Location
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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

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

Grahic Jump Location
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)



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In