Microtech 2011

Advanced Catalysts for Fuel-Flexible Fuel Cells

M. Grant Norton, S. Ha, O. Marin-Flores, K. Fleckner, M.K. Neylon, J. Breit
Washington State University, US

Keywords: fuel cells, catalysts, biofuels

Abstract:

In commercial aviation, a concept called the more electric airplane (MEA) will allow greater fuel efficiency by substituting hydraulically and pneumatically driven systems by those based on electrical energy. The increased electrical power demand in a MEA can be met by decentralizing the power-producing units using fuel cells. Furthermore, existing commercial aircraft use a low efficiency gas turbine APU to provide electrical power for operating navigation systems and other electronic devices. By using a SOFC-APU, improvements can be made in providing auxiliary power without consuming excessive amounts of fuel when the airplane is on the ground or when the load is increased on the main engines during flight. In this presentation, we will discuss the performance of MoO2-based catalysts in a number of reforming environments and the potential to incorporate MoO2 into an active anode for a SOFC that can operate directly on a range of hydrocarbon fuels from both fossil and bio-based sources. Although on-board applications for fuel cells may be some way off, there are near term applications including alternative-fuel fuel cells as range extenders for battery powered airport ground support equipment.
 

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