Operating experiences with a molten carbonate fuel cell at Stuttgart-Möhringen wastewater treatment plant

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Fuel cells on wastewater treatment plants are a relatively new technology to convert biogas from anaerobic digestion into thermal and electrical energy. Since the end of 2007, a type of MCFC fuel cell (>250 kWel, 180 kWth) has been installed at Stuttgart-Möhringen wastewater treatment plant. The goals of this research project are to raise the power self-sufficiency in Stuttgart-Möhringen, to further optimise high temperature fuel cells using biogas and to gain practical experience. After approximately 9,000 h of operation, a mean electrical ‘gross’-efficiency of 44% was achieved. To fully exploit this high electrical efficiency, it is essential to keep the energy consumption of peripheral devices (gas pressure unit, gas cleaning unit, etc.) of the fuel cell as low as possible.

Keywords: biogas, energy, fuel cell, MCFC

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