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International Heat Transfer Conference 16

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)

IN-SITU OBSERVATION OF GAS PRODUCTS AROUND THE ANODE AND IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF DIRECT CARBON FUEL CELL USING SOLID CARBON FUELS

Hirotatsu Watanabe
Tokyo Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Control Engineering, 2-12-1, Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan

Minori Nakanouchi
Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1, Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan

Takashi Shimada
Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1, Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan

Katsunori Hanamura
Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1, Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC16.ecl.023823
pages 4173-4179


KEY WORDS: Fuel cell, Energy efficiency, direct carbon fuel cell

Abstract

This study investigated the impact of size of carbon particles on direct carbon fuel cells (DCFC) performance from viewpoint of the mass transport around the anode. In the conventional DCFC, the anode was inserted to the carbon/carbonate slurry in which carbon particles were dispersed into molten carbonate. A fine zoom camera was used to record the gas products behavior around the anode as seen through the quartz window above the anode. Different slurries were prepared by using the different average size of activated carbon particle (daverage = 17, 44 or 80 µm). An in-situ observation showed that the gas bubbles with diameter of 30-50 µm remained anode the anode during discharge at 20 mA/cm2, whereas those disappeared after 2 min of the termination. This suggested that gas bubbles prevented the carbon particles from making contact with the anode, leading to decreasing the DCFC output during discharge. The continuous power generation was successfully achieved at daverage = 17 or 44 µm, whereas that was difficult to sustain for longer than 10 min at daverage = 80 µm. Larger carbon particles were less likely to form triple phase boundary. In addition, it was suggested that larger carbon particles (daverage = 80 µm) were affected by smaller gas bubbles (30-50 µm), whereas carbon particles smaller than gas bubbles (daverage = 17 or 44 µm) were less insensitive to those. It was shown that the size of carbon particles significantly influenced the DCFC performance.

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