Thermodynamic analysis of ammonia and urea fed solid oxide fuel cells
This thesis is concerned with the thermodynamic analyses of ion and proton-conducting solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) fed with ammonia and urea as fuels. A multi-level approach was used to determine the feasibility and the performance of the fuel cells. First, the cell-level thermodynamics were examined to capture the effect of various operating parameters on the cell voltage under open-circuit conditions. Second, electrochemical studies were conducted to characterize the cell-level performance under closed-circuit conditions. Third, the fuel cells were individually integrated in a combined-cycle power generation system and parametric studies were performed to assess the overall performance as well as the thermal and exergy efficiencies. The findings of this study showed that the overall performance and efficiency of the ammonia fed SOFC is superior in comparison to that of the urea fed counterpart. In particular, the ammonia fed system combined with proton-conducting SOFC achieved a thermal efficiency as high as 85% and exergy efficiency as high as 75%. The respective efficiencies of the ammonia fed system combined with ion-conducting SOFC were lower by 5-10%. However, the urea fed system combined with ion or proton-conducting SOFC demonstrated much lower performance and efficiencies due to higher thermodynamic irreversibilities.