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SOFC Reaction Process Suitable for Use with Sulfur-Containing Fuels

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The technology is a hybrid process that utilizes both sulfur-tolerant and high power density planar solid fuel cell (PSOFC) stacks to produce power at a higher efficiency. The sulfurtolerant PSOFC stack uses anode materials that selectively convert Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) present in fuel streams to non-poisoning sulfur compounds. The remaining gas balances which are nearly free of H2S are used as fuel inlet to the conventional PSOFC stack. The technology significantly limits the emission of poisonous gases such as NOx and improves the operational efficiency of energy producing plants to provide an environmentfriendly solution. It greatly enhances the scope of SOFC to use reformed fuel containing sulfur species as a viable source for energy production. The adjoining figure shows an SOFC test stand. Applications: The technology has beneficial application in the areas of power generation and fuel cell manufacturing. New-age fuel cells are highly versatile having residential industrial military and transportation applications. The global market for fuel cells is expected to surpass $18.6 billion by 2013. This is accompanied by the global demand for SOFC to reach at least $443 million by 2010 growing at an aggressive annual rate of 22%. These statistics demonstrate a strong market for the technology. Stage of Development: The proposed process is in an early phase of development having been subject to a thorough feasibility study. The prototype awaits testing and field-trials to determine the optimum composition of cells used in the PSOFC stack. Future Development: The technology has to be tested in order to be evaluated for design optimization and efficiency validation of the process. Viability has to be established on the basis of the reduction in overall infrastructure and implementation costs. Marketability of the final product needs to be evaluated on the basis of overall benefits against investment costs.

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