Good, old Gasification meets High-Tech Fuel Cells

Hello everybody,

    I learned from Johannes about this forum. Just like Johannes, I did a PhD at Paul Scherrer Institut and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in the field of Biomass Gasification. I wish I had known this forum back then because one of the goals of my thesis was to come up with a fixed bed gasifier in the 5 to 30 kWth scale which would operate at least one week non-stop. Fortunately, I did succeed in the end as you can read in my thesis.

      Electricity from wood through the combination of gasification and solid oxide fuel cells

      (Sometimes the link to the pdf doesn’t seem to work, copy the link into your adress bar then ;) )

        The outline of the work is as follows:


          • The fuel: dry wood chip
          • The gasifier: Fixed bed updraft gasifier, 5 to 30 kWth
          • The sampling: continuous wet scrubber
          • The diagnostics: GC, GC/MS, SID, GC/SCD
          • The parameters: Lambda, Water load
          • The goal: Stable operation, product gas clean enough for fuel cell applications
          • The result: World 1st continuous operation with pure wood gas of a full-scale residential Solid Oxide Fuel Cell residential combined heat and power system


          As I was the first PhD student researching B-IGFC systems (Biomass-Integrated Gasification Fuel Cell) at the Paul Scherrer Institute, I put in quite some work in researching and describing in my thesis:

            • The basics of wood as a gasification fuel
            • The different gasification processes and reactors
            • The impact of gasification processes on the produced wood gas
            • The state-of-the-art gas cleaning technologies
            • The basics of fuel cells in general and Solid Oxide Fuel Cells in particular
            • The implications of wood gas specific impurities on fuel cell operation
            • A methodology to model B-IGFC systems
            • And finally, the cost and efficiencies of B-IGFC systems

            After having demonstrated successful operation of a 1kWel Fuel cell system on pure wood gas, the project has gone to the next level and PSI is in the process of designing a pilot plant. I’d be happy if you too find my thesis valuable just like all other downloaders so far. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them.