Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Xiao-Dong Zhou

Abstract

In this thesis, a continuum model is presented for anode-supported micro-tubular SOFCs with ammonia as the fuel. This two-dimensional (2D) mathematical model consists of a set of equations that describe the conservation of heat, mass, momentum and charge, which are solved simultaneously by COMSOL MULTIPHYSICS 4.1a. We investigated the effects of the operating conditions (e.g. temperature and initial fuel composition) and the micro-structural properties (e.g. anode porosity, tortuosity and thickness) on the electrochemical properties of micro-tubular fuel cells.

Our modeling results show that the polarization loss decreases with increasing operation temperature, which is attributed to enhanced activity of the electrochemical reactions. Moreover, the anode thickness is found to play a key role on cell performance, comparing with tortuosity and porosity. When ammonia is used as the fuel, the decomposition reaction of ammonia strongly affects the temperature and leads to the decrease in temperature along the axial direction of the tubular cell, which results in a slight reduction of cell performance.

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