Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Reactors for Co-generation of Electrical Energy and Value-added Chemicals 

 Xian-Zhu Fu 

Shenzhen University

Abstract: It is very important to efficiently and environmentally friendly utilize fossil fuels. A novel proton conducting solid oxide fuel cell reactor has been developed for co-generation of electrical energy and value-added chemicals of alkene (such as ethylene) from aklane (such as ethane) without CO2 greenhouse gas emissions as shown in the following Figure: (1) aklane is partially dehydrogenated at anode with simultaneously production of protons and electrons, which respectively are transported through the electrolyte and the external circuit. Unlike conventional industrial processes, aklane dehydrogenation in the fuel cell is not equilibrium limited, and is not in contact with oxidant, and so aklane can be converted to alkene with high selectivity and without producing CO2; (2) at the cathode protons react with oxygen from air and consume electrons from the external circuit to produce water, and the chemical energy thereby is used to generate electrical power. Unlike conventional hydrocarbon fuel cells with oxygen ion conducting electrolyte, there are no significant greenhouse gas (CO2) or poisonous gas (CO) emissions. As protons are rapidly conducted away from the catalyst through the electrolyte, there is no build up of hydrogen at the anode, and so there is no reverse reaction of alkene. Thus the cell not only promotes ethane conversion but also provides for separation of alkene and co-produciton of energy, in contrast to the convnetional process for alkene production by thermal aklane dehydrogenation which need a large amounts of energy consumption.

Biography: Xian-Zhu Fu, Professor of College of Materials Science and Engineering at Shenzhen University. He obtained his PhD degree in Department of Chemistry from Xiamen University in 2007. Then he moved to Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Unversity of Alberta in Canada as a postdoctoral fellow. He also has worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab as a visiting scholar and Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology Chinese Academy of Sciences as research professor. His research interests include materials and devices for electrochemical energy conversion and storage.