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BIOPCFC – Biogas operated proton ceramic fuel cells with novel S-tolerant functional materials

Biogas operated proton ceramic fuel cells with novel S-tolerant functional materials (BIOPCFC) is a project about development of two novel designs of PCFCs with improved stability in S-containing gases enabling reforming of biogas.

Biogas is a renewable energy source available from a range of organic waste disposal processes. Its main fuel value comes from its content of Methane, which is diluted with Carbon Dioxide, Hydrogen Sulfide, Nitrogen gas and water.

 The BIOPCFC project will build basic knowledge on materials science and engineering for enabling waste biogas fuelling of Proton Conducting Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. Advantages of fuel cells, compared to traditional heat engine and generator combinations, are higher electrical efficiency, zero NOx emissions, noise-free operation, and greater modularity and flexibility.

The fuel cell should be able to operate at high temperatures to tolerate the carbon-containing fuel, and at the same time deliver high quality heat. A critical factor is the levels of sulphur in the fuel, as sulphur degrades the anode. This is a major hurdle for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells traditionally used for utilizing biogas. The BIOPCFC project aims at overcoming these obstacles by developing fuel cells based on new functional materials and cell components tolerant to different and varying sulphur containing gas supplies and compositions.

Three entirely novel concepts with increasing risk/reward impact will be investigated to design S-based / S-tolerant fuel cell concepts. A breakthrough in any of the pathways investigated in the BIOPCFC project will yield a major development for renewable energy technology and fuel cells worldwide.

The project is coordinated by UiO with SINTEF as partner. It lasts 3 years and educates 1 PhD candidate.
Partners: University of Oslo (Prof. T. Norby) and SINTEF Materials and Chemistry (Dr. J. Polfus)

 Funding: Norwegian Research Council – Nano2021 program

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Project duration

01/11/2012 - 30/10/2015

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