Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) integrated power plants: System and kinetic studies

Aditya Thallam Thattai

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

355 Downloads (Pure)


Increased climate change over past decades has resulted in an increase in the average temperature (also called global warming) of Earth’s climate system. At the recent Paris climate conference (COP21) in 2015, 195 countries in the world have agreed upon a stringent plan to limit global warming below 2oC. This demands a significant reduction in the industrial emission of greenhouse gases, predominantly carbon dioxide (CO2). Existing fossil fuel (coal, natural gas) fired power plants account for the majority share in global carbon dioxide (CO2) and other harmful (SOx , NOx) emissions. Therefore clean, efficient and flexible power plant concepts need to be developed towards upgrading existing power plants and to meet the strict CO2 emission targets. Combined cycle power plants like the integrated gasification combined cycle, IGCC (coal based) and integrated reforming combined cycle, IRCC (natural gas based) can be utilized to produce electricity using fossil fuels at relatively high efficiencies compared to conventional single cycle plants.
Possible approaches to make IGCC/IRCC power plants cleaner, efficient and more flexible include biomass utilization (renewable energy source), application of CO2 capture technologies, retrofitting with highly efficient fuel conversion technologies like solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and energy/fuel storage. This dissertation primarily aims to provide design concepts and thermodynamic system analysis for large scale IGCC and IRCC power plants with a focus on achieving high electrical efficiencies, low CO2 emissions and high operational flexibility. SOFCs have been explored as an efficiency augmenting technology and metal hydride based hydrogen storage as a flexibility option. Furthermore, future development of safe and optimally operating hydrocarbon (like natural gas (methane)) fuelled SOFC units on the basis of system and numerical models, requires reliable experimental data and understanding in the underlying reaction kinetics. Thereupon, an extended experimental study has been carried out in this work on methane steam reforming (MSR) kinetics in single operating SOFCs.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Boersma, B.J., Supervisor
  • Geerlings, J.J.C., Supervisor
  • Purushothaman Vellayani, A., Advisor
Award date26 Jun 2017
Print ISBNs978-94-6186-823-7
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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