Desulfurization for Fuel Cells

Advanced Fossil Energy Utilization
AIChE Annual Meeting
November 6, 2013 - 3:15pm-3:45pm

Fuel cells can efficiently produce electricity using hydrogen and/or synthesis gas (syngas) obtained by reforming/gasification of gaseous , liquid , and solid fuels.  Fuels proposed for use in fuel cell processors include , but are not limited to , natural gas , liquefied petroleum gas , landfill gas , digester gas , gasoline , jet fuel , and solid fuels such as coal and biomass.  However , these fuels contain sulfur as impurity that must be nearly completely removed to prevent poisoning of the fuel cell anode catalyst with hydrogen sulfide.  Desulfurization methods are critically reviewed and analyzed with particular emphasis on desulfurization sorbents for use in compact fuel processors for fuel cells. Desulfurization can be carried out both upstream and downstream of the reformer.  Promising sorbents have been developed for direct deep desulfurization of gaseous and liquid fuels.  Also , metal oxide-based sorbents have been developed for desulfurization of syngas down to <0.1 ppmv S.  However , further R&D is needed to develop high capacity sorbents for direct desulfurization of liquid fuels and for polishing of syngas.  R&D is also needed to simplify sorbent preparation and scale up methods , handling and regeneration , and disposal.

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