Molten carbonate fuel cells fed with biogas: Combating H

R. Ciccoli, V. Cigolotti, R. Lo Presti, E. Massi, S.J. McPhail, G. Monteleone, A. Moreno, V. Naticchioni, C. Paoletti, E. Simonetti, F. Zaza

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The use of biomass and waste to produce alternative fuels, due to environmental and energy security reasons, is a high-quality solution especially when integrated with high efficiency fuel cell applications. In this article we look into the coupling of an anaerobic digestion process of organic residues to electrochemical conversion to electricity and heat through a molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC). In particular the pathway of the exceedingly harmful compound hydrogen sulphide (H2S) in these phases is analysed. Hydrogen sulphide production in the biogas is strongly interrelated with methane and/or hydrogen yield, as well as with operating conditions like temperature and pH. When present in the produced biogas, this compound has multiple negative effects on the performance and durability of an MCFC. Therefore, there are important issues of integration to be solved.Three general approaches to solve the sulphur problem in the MCFC are possible. The first is to prevent the formation of hydrogen sulphide at the source: favouring conditions that inhibit its production during fermentation. Secondly, to identify the sulphur tolerance levels of the fuel cell components currently in use and develop sulphur-tolerant components that show long-term electrochemical performance and corrosion stability. The third approach is to remove the generated sulphur species to very low levels before the gas enters the fuel cell. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018 - 1024
Number of pages7
JournalWaste Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

Ciccoli, R., Cigolotti, V., Lo Presti, R., Massi, E., McPhail, S. J., Monteleone, G., ... Zaza, F. (2010). Molten carbonate fuel cells fed with biogas: Combating H. Waste Management, 30(6), 1018 - 1024.