Pollution Reduction and Resources Saving Through the Use of Waste Derived Gas for Fueling a High Temperature Fuel Cell

EPA Grant Number: SU831896
Title: Pollution Reduction and Resources Saving Through the Use of Waste Derived Gas for Fueling a High Temperature Fuel Cell
Investigators: Sammes, Nigel M.
Current Investigators: Sammes, Nigel M. , Bove, Roberto , Bu, Kyunga , Holden, William , Pusz, Jakub
Institution: University of Connecticut
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 30, 2004 through May 30, 2005
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Energy , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


In the most recent years, the world energy demand rose quickly. Production of millions of new cars every year, development of electronic devices that use hundreds of watts each, replacing human labor with machines in the factories and many others, lead world oil production close to a peak.

Most of energy generation is based on the combustion of fossil fuels derivatives that results in exploitation of natural resources and damage of the environment. Emissions of such harmful gases as carbon dioxide and monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, ashes and many more are responsible for acid rains, smog in the urban areas, and global warming. The intensive use of fossil fuels has also an economic drawback. The increase in energy demand, coupled with the reserve reduction, leads the cost of fuel to a dramatic increase.

The use of fossil fuels can be reduced by using high efficiency conversion systems, as well as using alternative renewable fuels.

Fuel cells are widely recognized to be ultra-clean, high efficiency energy conversion systems. The only byproduct of their operation is water if fueled with pure hydrogen. Most of the fuel cell types are restricted to use pure hydrogen, however Solid Oxide Fuel Cells allows a variety of energy carriers to be processed, including waste derived gases. Nevertheless, in order to operate with gases different from pure hydrogen or natural gas, laboratory studies are necessary.

The aim of this study is to define a 10 kW SOFC system operating on landfill gas, and to designate the main issues related to fuel impurities, such as sulfur, chlorine and particulates. The system is going to be further analyzed in terms of thermodynamic and environmental benefits comparing to the traditional electricity generating systems. The last step of the project is the evaluation of the economic feasibility, taking into account all factors connected to the fuel cell system investment, operation and benefits such as the carbon credits incentive.

A series of lectures, presentations and workshops will be carried out at the Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center (CGFCC), as well as in Seminars, Workshops and Conferences. The CGFCC is already recognized as a great contributor to high school and university education.

Supplemental Keywords:

fuel cell, energy, renewable feedstocks, landfill gas, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, waste reduction, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Economics and Business, Environmental Engineering, energy conservation, industrial design for environment, life cycle analysis, waste to fuel conversion, sustainable development, waste minimization, waste recycling, alternative products, environmental conscious construction, fuel cell energy systems, alternative materials, fuel cell, alternative fuel, innovative technology, life cycle assessment, alternative energy source, environmentally conscious design

Relevant Websites:

http://www.ctfuelcell.uconn.edu/ Exit

Project Description

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report