Simulation of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell - Based Power Generation Processes with CO<sub>2</sub> Capture
The Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) is a promising technology for electricity generation. It converts the chemical energy of the fuel gas directly to electricity energy and therefore, very high electrical efficiencies can be achieved. The high operating temperature of the SOFC also provides excellent possibilities for cogeneration applications. In addition to producing power very efficiently, the SOFC has the potential to concentrate CO<sub>2</sub> with a minimum of an overall efficiency loss. Concentration of CO<sub>2</sub> is a desirable feature of a power generation process so that the CO<sub>2</sub> may be subsequently sequestered thus preventing its contribution to global warming. The primary purpose of this research project was to investigate the role of the SOFC technology in power generation processes and explore its potential for CO<sub>2</sub> capture in power plants. <br /><br /> This thesis introduces an AspenPlus<sup>TM</sup> SOFC stack model based on the natural gas feed tubular internal reforming SOFC technology. It was developed utilizing existing AspenPlus<sup>TM</sup> functions and unit operation models. This SOFC model is able to provide detailed thermodynamic and parametric analysis of the SOFC operation and can easily be extended to study the entire process consisting of the SOFC stack and balance of plant. <br /><br /> Various SOFC-based power generation cycles were studied in this thesis. Various options for concentrating CO<sub>2</sub> in these power generation systems were also investigated and discussed in detail. All the processes simulations were implemented in AspenPlus<sup>TM</sup> extending from the developed natural gas feed tubular SOFC stack model. The study shows that the SOFC technology has a promising future not only in generating electricity in high efficiency but also in facilitating CO<sub>2</sub> concentration, but the cost of the proposed processes still need be reduced so SOFCs can become a technical as well as economic feasible solution for power generation.