Biomass to fuel cells state of the art: A review of the most innovative technology solutions

E. Bocci, A. Di Carlo, S.J. McPhail, K. Gallucci, P.U. Foscolo, M. Moneti, M. Villarini, M. Carlini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Citations (Scopus)


Fuel Cells fed with locally produced biogenous primary fuels can convert renewable energy into electricity with high efficiencies, in an environment friendly and CO2-neutral manner. The paper analyses different biomass conversion processes, gas conditioning technologies, fuel cells typologies and power plant configurations, focusing on the most suitable gasification and anaerobic digestion processes coupled to high temperature fuel cells. The paper shows that the conversion systems have to be analysed from global perspective including feedstock, processes and plant configurations in order to obtain high reliability and efficiency and low emissions. Indeed, the presence, in the raw produced gas, of particulate, organic and inorganic impurities renders the coupling of biomass-derived gases and Fuel Cells problematic, especially in the case of gasification. However, recently developed hot gas cleaning technologies could improve energy efficiency and lower operational costs for high-temperature utilizations of the biomass-derived gas. Finally, further research and demonstration activities are required in order to improve power plant reliability and reduce global capital cost, especially at the more suitable small scale size.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21876 - 21895
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

Cite this

Bocci, E., Carlo, A. D., McPhail, S. J., Gallucci, K., Foscolo, P. U., Moneti, M., Villarini, M., & Carlini, M. (2014). Biomass to fuel cells state of the art: A review of the most innovative technology solutions. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 39(36), 21876 - 21895.