Gasified coal powers solid oxide fuel cell

In June 2003, Delphi is to test whether gas extracted from coal can be effectively used in a fuel cell to generate electricity.

The demonstration will take place in the US at the Power Systems Development Facility (PSDF) coal-gasification plant in Wilsonville, AL. The PSDF was established by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and is managed and operated by the Southern Company, which provides funding in conjunction with the DOE and other industrial partners.

Delphi hopes that the use of its Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Generation-2 solid oxide fuel cell will enable the economical co-production of hydrogen and electricity from coal with near zero emissions

‘Since coal is an abundant resource in the US, showing that a fuel cell can produce electricity from gasified coal at a competitive cost would mean that the US would become less dependent on energy imports. After the demonstration, which explores what’s possible with this process, further R&D could prove-out the reliability and effectiveness of high-power output from the fuel cell using gasified coal,’ said Dr. Jean Botti, chief technologist at Delphi’s Dynamics and Propulsion Innovation Center.

Delphi is concentrating on developing fuel cells that can generate auxiliary electric power for passenger, commercial and military applications. Units are being designed to provide baseline power for mobile applications, generating from 1kW to 25kW of power.

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