Molten carbonate fuel cells for CO

I. Rexed, M. della Pietra, S. McPhail, G. Lindbergh, C. Lagergren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)


Molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC) used as active carbon dioxide concentrator units are a promising solution to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from traditional combustion plants. The cell reaction transfers carbonate ions from the cathode to the anode and allows the fuel cell to simultaneously produce power and separate CO2from a stream of flue gas. Carbon dioxide separation is of high interest for use in natural gas combined cycles and coal gas combustion plants, as a large part of anthropogenic CO2worldwide originates from such installations. The flue gas from these types of combustion technologies typically contains 3-15% CO2, which is in the lower operational range of the MCFC. The aim of this work was to investigate the possibility to retrofit existing power plants with MCFC to reduce the total release of CO2without necessarily reducing the power output, and to understand which kind of power plant could have the major benefits with an MCFC retrofitting. The performance of lab scale MCFC fed with simulated flue gas was evaluated, and a number of operational parameters, such as utilization factor and cathode humidification were varied to study the effect on fuel cell performance. The results show that it is feasible to operate the MCFC as a CO2separator for simulated gas turbine flue gas; however, the voltage drop due to low CO2concentration may restrict the operating window depending on various operating conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120 - 130
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Cite this

Rexed, I., della Pietra, M., McPhail, S., Lindbergh, G., & Lagergren, C. (2015). Molten carbonate fuel cells for CO. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 35, 120 - 130.