Project No: NT0004396
Performer: Pennsylvania State University
Shailesh Vora Technology Manager Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) National Energy Technology Laboratory 626 Cochrans Mill Road P.O. Box 10940, MS 922-204 Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0940 (412) 386-7515 firstname.lastname@example.org Joseph Stoffa Project Manager National Energy Technology Laboratory 3610 Collins Ferry Road P.O. Box 880, MS P03B Morgantown, WV 26507-0880 (304) 285-0285 email@example.com Chunshan Song Principal Investigator Pennsylvania State University EMS Energy Institute and Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering C211 Coal Utilization Lab University Park, PA 16802 (814) 863-4466 firstname.lastname@example.org
DOE Share: $3,734,954.00
Performer Share: $1,032,829.00
Total Award Value: $4,767,783.00
Performer website: Pennsylvania State University - http://www.psu.edu
The objectives of this Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and Delphi project are to develop new fuel processing approaches for using select alternative and renewable fuels - commercial diesel fuel and anaerobic digester gas (ADG) - in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power generation systems, and to conduct integrated fuel processor-SOFC system tests to evaluate the performance of the fuel processors and overall systems.
Program Background and Project Benefits
This project assists the SOFCs program in meeting its cost and life targets by understanding the mechanisms that limit the reliability and durability of SOFC materials. The program will ultimately enable fuel cell-based near-zero emission coal plants with greatly reduced water requirements and the capability of capturing 97 percent or greater of carbon at costs not exceeding the typical cost of electricity available today. Achievement of this goal will have significant impact for the nation given the size of the market, expected growth in energy demand, and the age of the existing power plant fleet. It will also provide the technology base to enable grid-independent distributed generation applications. Federal funding support of this research is appropriate given the game changing nature of the technology, accompanied by risks higher than the private sector can accept.
Project Scope and Technology Readiness Level
Pennsylvania State University (PSU) will develop fuel processors for Anaerobic Digester Gas (ADG) and commercial diesel fuels, respectively, for integration with SOFC power generation systems. PSU will be responsible for the development of the adsorbent and reforming catalyst formulations, testing the adsorbents and reforming catalysts in laboratory flow reactor systems, the analytical characterization of trace level contaminants in the fuel processor reformate stream, and delivery of testing results. The fuel processor designs shall remove any harmful constituents from the fuels that may adversely affect SOFC performance, including the partial reformation of the fuel to remove higher hydrocarbon components. Additionally, inert components such as carbon dioxide may also be separated from the fuel stream. PSU will define the optimal fuel composition that supports the most effective fuel processing technology while maintaining adequate SOFC test platform performance.
The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) assessment identifies the current state of readiness of the key technologies being developed under the DOE’s Clean Coal Research Program. In FY 12, this project was not assessed.
The TRL assessment process and its results including definition and description of the levels may be found in the "2012 Technology Readiness Assessment-Analysis of Active Research Portfolio".