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Combination of Sorption-Enhanced Steam Methane Reforming and Electricity Generation by MCFC: Concept and Numerical Simulation Analysis

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Reformed gas made by the steam methane reforming(SMR) process is used as fuel feed to MCFC, but it is not as good as pure hydrogen due to the presence of CO2 and CO. The sorption-enhanced steam methane reforming(SE-SMR) process can reduce CO2 and CO to a low level and produce high purity hydrogen. Considering the merits of similar operating temperatures (about 500°C) and carbon dioxide recycle, a novel concept of a six-step sorption-enhanced steam methane reforming (SE-SMR) combined with electricity generation by molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) is proposed. In the present paper, a cycle of the SE-SMR process, which include the steps of reaction/adsorption, depressurization, gas purges (nitrogen and reformed gas, respectively), and pressurization with reformed gas, is modeled and analyzed. The process stream in the SE-SMR process is used as anode feed in MCFC. According to the result of numerical simulation, a fuel cell grade hydrogen product (above 80% purity) at the SE-SMR temperature of 450°C can be obtained. A carbon dioxide recycle mechanism is developed for cathode feed of MCFC from flue gas by burning with excess air to achieve a proper CO2/air ratio (about 30:70). The novel electricity generation system, which can operate at lower energy consumption and high purity hydrogen feed is helpful for the MCFC'S performance and life time.

Keywords: Carbon dioxide recycle; Sorption-enhanced Steam Methane Reforming (SE-SMR); electricity generation system; molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC); numerical simulation; regeneration; sorbent

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Fuel Cell, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China 2: Linde Technology Center, Shanghai, China

Publication date: January 1, 2009


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