Advanced power generation from fuel cells - implications for coal, IEACR/59

Author(s): David Scott

Ref: IEACR/59
ISBN: 92-9029-218-0
Published Date: 01/07/1993
No. of Tables: 22
No. of Figures: 41
No. of Pages: 74


This study is concerned with the implications for coal of power generation using fuel cells. The fuel cell is a devise for producing electricity electrochemically. This process was demonstrated over 150 years ago as a scientific curiosity but more recently fuel cells gained public attention through their use in the US space programme. The potential of fuel cells for the clean efficient generation of electricity was recognised by gas utilities that sponsored research and development with the objective of creating a natural gas powered fuel cell system suitable to replace domestic boilers. Although the original programme was of limited success, research and development of fuel cell systems has continued. In both the USA and Japan there are now programmes aimed at the commercial deployment of fuel cell systems in the range 50 kWe to 50 MWe. The operating principles and development status of the fuel cell systems designed for power generation are considered and some implications for coal of this developing technology are discussed.

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