Performance of Membrane-Assisted Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System Fuelled by Bioethanol
The membrane separation units for bioethanol purification including pervaporation and vapor permeation are integrated with the bioethanol-fuelled solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system. The preliminary calculations indicate that Hydrophilic type is a suitable membrane for vapor permeation to be installed after a hydrophobic pervaporation. Based on energy self-sufficient condition and data of available pervaporation membranes, the simulation results show that the use of vapor permeation unit after the pervaporation can significantly improve the overall electrical efficiency from 10.96% for the system with pervaporation alone to 26.56%. Regarding the effect of ethanol recovery, the ethanol recovery at 75% can offer the optimal overall efficiency from the proposed purification system compared to the ethanol recovery at 31.16% for the case with the single pervaporation.
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