The combined impact of carbon type (anthracite coal, bituminous coal and pine charcoal) and in situ, catalyst-aided, carbon gasification process on the electrochemical performance of a Direct Carbon Fuel Cell (DCFC) is explored. The effect of operation temperature (700–800 °C) and catalyst (Co/CeO2) infusion to carbon feedstock under CO2 atmosphere at the anode chamber is systematically investigated in a cell of the type: Carbon + CO2|Cu-CeO2/YSZ/Ag|Air. All fuel samples were characterized, in terms of chemical composition, crystallite structure (XRD), pore structure (BET), surface morphology (SEM), particle size distribution (PSD) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), in order to obtain a close relationship between the carbon characteristics and the DCFC performance. The results reveal that in the absence of catalyst, the optimum performance is obtained for the charcoal sample (Pmax ~ 12 mW/cm2), due to its high volatile matter, oxygen content, porosity and carbon disorder as well as its low amount of impurities. Catalyst infusion to carbon feedstock results in a considerable increase in the achieved cell power density up to 225%, which is more pronounced for the less reactive coals and low temperatures. The enhanced performance obtained by infusing Co/CeO2 catalyst into carbon is ascribed to the positive effect of catalyst on the in situ carbon gasification, through the reverse Boudouard reaction (C + CO2 → 2CO), and the subsequent faster diffusion and electro-oxidation of formed CO at the anodic three-phase boundary.
Solid State Ionics – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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