• solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs);
  • methanol;
  • polygeneration


Low-temperature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC, 300–600°C) technology fueled by methanol possessing significant importance and application in polygenerations has been developed. Thermodynamic analysis of methanol gas-phase compositions and carbon formation indicates that direct operation on methanol between 450 and 600°C may result in significant carbon deposition. A water steam/methanol ratio of 1/1 can completely suppress carbon formation in the same time enrich H2 production composition. Fuel cells were fabricated using ceria–carbonate composite electrolytes and examined at 450–600°C. The maximum power density of 603 and 431 mW cm−2 was achieved at 600 and 500°C, respectively, using water steam/methanol with the ratio of 1/1 and ambient air as fuel and oxidant. These results provide great potential for development of the direct methanol low–temperature SOFC for polygenerations. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.