Investigation of the reaction of ethanol-steam mixtures in a YSZ electrochemical reactor operated in a fuel cell mode
In the present investigation ethanol-water mixtures were directly fed to a yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrochemical reactor operated in a fuel cell mode and the preliminary results are presented and discussed. Polycrystalline films of platinum (Pt) and silver (Ag) were, respectively, tested as anode catalysts in a wide range of experimental conditions while the cathode was exposed to the atmospheric air. The single direct ethanol solid oxide fuel cell (DE-SOFC) tests were performed in order to investigate separately Pt and Ag's activities towards ethanol steam reaction and fuel cell performance (Pt-DESOFC and Ag-DESOFC). In both cases the products were on-line analyzed by a mass spectrograph, a gas chromatograph and a series of gas analysers under fuel cell mode of operation. The results showed that even at high temperature values (>750°C) the main products were CH3CHO, CH4, CO, H2, and CO2. Furthermore, as expected the single DESOFC performance was improved as the temperature increased. However, a relatively poor fuel cell performance has been obtained in both cases, which could be attributed to the following reasons: the relatively low (for YSZ electrolyte) operation temperature, the presence of homogeneous reactions, and the cell configuration. Copyright © 2006 by ASME.
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