Fuelling a solid oxide fuel cell with ammonia recovered from water by vacuum membrane stripping

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Abstract

Gaseous ammonia (NH3) recovered from residual waters may be used as a fuel in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) to generate electricity without emission of undesirable oxidised nitrogen species. NH3 can be directly recovered from water as a gas by vacuum membrane stripping (VMS), which also results in the evaporation of water (H2O), leading to the recovery of NH3-H2O mixtures. However, in currently available literature, information is lacking on the NH3 concentrations in NH3-H2O mixtures that may be used as a fuel for an oxygen-conducting SOFC (SOFC-O). In this study, we assessed the effect of feed water temperature and the NH3 feed water concentration on the NH3 concentrations in gaseous VMS permeate. Besides, we assessed the feasibility to use NH3-H2O mixtures in the concentration range between 5 and 25 wt% for the generation of electricity in an SOFC-O. The results show that increasing the NH3 feed water concentration from 1 to 10 g∙L−1 increased the NH3 concentration in the gaseous VMS permeate from 1 wt% to up to 11 wt%. Increasing the feed water temperature from 25 to 35 °C also results in an increase in the NH3 concentration in the gaseous permeate, whereas increasing the feed water temperature from 35 °C to 55 °C leads to dilution of the VMS permeate. Furthermore, electricity was generated at an electrical efficiency of 43% in an SOFC-O when the NH3 concentration in the NH3-H2O fuel was only 5 wt%. Hence, according results on the obtained NH3 concentrations in the gaseous VMS permeate and the generation of electricity using dilute NH3-H2O mixtures as a fuel, VMS and SOFC-O can be combined for the generation of electricity from NH3 recovered from water. Moreover, the electrical energy generation of the SOFC-O, which reached values of 9 MJ∙kg-N−1, was higher than the electrical energy consumption for VMS, for which values of 7 MJ∙kg-N−1 were calculated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number131081
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume428
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Ammonia recovery
  • Ammonia stripping
  • Ammonia-water mixture
  • Energy generation
  • Solid oxide fuel cell
  • Vacuum membrane stripping

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