The developments of heavy hydrocarbon reformer for SOFC

  • Published : 2012.05.17


Heavy hydrocarbon reforming is a core technology for "Dirty energy smart". Heavy hydrocarbons are components of fossil fuels, biomass, coke oven gas and etc. Heavy hydrocarbon reforming converts the fuels into $H_2$-rich syngas. And then $H_2$-rich syngas is used for the production of electricity, synthetic fuels and petrochemicals. Energy can be used efficiently and obtained from various sources by using $H_2$-rich syngas from heavy hydrocarbon reforming. Especially, the key point of "Dirty energy smart" is using "dirty fuel" which is wasted in an inefficient way. New energy conversion laboratory of KAIST has been researched diesel reforming for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) as a part of "Dirty energy smart". Diesel is heavy hydrocarbon fuels which has higher carbon number than natural gas, kerosene and gasoline. Diesel reforming has difficulties due to the evaporation of fuels and coke formation. Nevertheless, diesel reforming technology is directly applied to "Dirty fuel" because diesel has the similar chemical properties with "Dirty fuel". On the other hand, SOFC has advantages on high efficiency and wasted heat recovery. Nippon oil Co. of Japan recently commercializes 700We class SOFC system using city gas. Considering the market situation, the development of diesel reformer has a great ripple effect. SOFC system can be applied to auxiliary power unit and distributed power generation. In addition, "Dirty energy smart" can be realized by applying diesel reforming technology to "Dirty fuel". As well as material developments, multidirectional approaches are required to reform heavy hydrocarbon fuels and use $H_2$-rich gas in SOFC. Gd doped ceria (CGO, $Ce_{1-x}Gd_xO_{2-y}$) has been researched for not only electrolyte materials but also catalysts supports. In addition, catalysts infiltrated electrode over porous $La_{0.8}Sr_{0.2}Ga_{0.8}Mg_{0.2}O_3-{\delta}$ and catalyst deposition at three phase boundary are being investigated to improve the performance of SOFC. On the other hand, nozzle for diesel atomization and post-reforming for light-hydrocarbons removal are examples of solving material problems in multidirectional approaches. Likewise, multidirectional approaches are necessary to realize "Dirty energy smart" like reforming "Dirty fuel" for SOFC.