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Open Access Fuels for Fuel Cells: Requirements and Fuel Processing

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Polymer electrolyte and solid oxide are the two fuel cell types (PEFC, SOFC) under development in Switzerland. The very distinct operating temperatures of 80°C (PEFC) and 800–950°C (SOFC) impose fundamentally different requirements upon the nature of the fuel; normally purified H2 for the former (CO trace) and usually synthesis gas for the latter (H2, CO as main constituents). Apart from stored hydrogen, the most relevant fuels are primary hydrocarbons (natural gas, biogas, liquids,...), that then need processing (chemical conversion, cleaning) up to a level compatible with the fuel cell catalysts. These processes are briefly reviewed. Fuel compositions with an emphasis on impurities are given. Two application examples from Swiss R&D are presented: gasoline conversion to high purity H2 for PEFC and contaminated biogas processing for SOFC.

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Keywords: BIOGAS; FUEL IMPURITIES; FUEL PROCESSING; PARTIAL OXIDATION; REFORMING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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