Energy Conversion Efficiency Potential for Forward-Deployed Generation Using Direct Carbon Fuel Cells
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER CHAMPAIGN IL CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING RESEARCH LAB
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Fuel logistics are a huge burden to the Army mission and supply lines. Improving efficiency and fuel flexibility will, in the long run, save lives as well as dollars. Fuel cells have long been looked on as a viable method to achieving efficiency and flexibility. The direct carbon fuel cell DCFC technology is one potential game-changing technology which could support meeting this challenge. It has the potential to convert carbon at high efficiency to a safe, non-explosive fuel, and one which could be produced from waste on-site at forward-deployed installations. The objective of this work was to produce a single-cell DCFC with a minimum performance of 120 WL at 50 efficiency. This report summarizes a 2-year work effort by Contained Energy, LLC CEL to achieve this objective. The report explains the challenge of high temperature that is required to achieve the power densities necessary to produce feasible-sized, operational units. It also explains problems encountered with partial oxidation of the carbon at high temperatures which causes low ef-ficiencies due to the Boudouard reaction. Finally, CELs novel and new ceramic DCFC concept is explained, along with lessons learned in advancing DCFC technology.
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Non-electrical Energy Conversion
- Electrochemical Energy Storage