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2.3 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
Biomass gasification-solid oxide fuel cell (BG-SOFC) combined heat and power (CHP) systems are of major interest in the context of climate change mitigation, energy security and increasing energy efficiency. Aspen Plus is employed to simulate various BG-SOFC CHP systems. The aim of the research work is to investigate the technical feasibility of these systems and to study the influence of important operating parameters and examine integration options. Systems based on dual fluidised bed steam gasification and tubular SOFC technologies are modelled. The cathode recycle and electric heater integration options are not attractive in comparison to the base case anode recycle system. Thermal integration, i.e. using SOFC flue gas as gasifier oxidant, is desirable. Lowering the syngas preheat temperature (prior to SOFC anodes) is highly recommended and is more practical than lowering the cathode air preheat temperature. Results of the parametric study indicate that: steam to carbon ratio and biomass moisture content should be as low as possible; fuel utilisation factor can change the mode of operation of the plant (focus on electricity or heat); high temperature syngas cleaning is very attractive; gasification air preheating is more attractive than gasification steam superheating. High efficiencies are predicted, proving the technical feasibility of BG-SOFC CHP systems.
Doherty,W.,Reynolds, A.Kennedy, D. (2015) Process Simulation of Biomass Gasification Integrated with a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Stack. Journal of Power Sources 2015;277:292-303. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2014.11.125