Modelling of solid oxide fuel cells with internal glycerol steam reforming

Chen Wang, Qijiao He, Zheng Li, Qidong Xu, Minfang Han, Meng Ni

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The direct application of glycerol in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) for power generation has been demonstrated experimentally but the detailed mechanisms are not well understood due to the lack of comprehensive modeling study. In this paper, a numerical model is developed to study the glycerol-fueled SOFC. After model validation, the simulated SOFC demonstrates a performance of 7827 A m−2 at 0.6 V, with a glycerol conversion rate of 49% at 1073 K. Then, parametric analyses are conducted to understand the effects of operation conditions on cell performance. It is found that the SOFC performance increases with decreasing operating voltage or increasing inlet temperature. However, increasing either the fuel flow rate or steam to glycerol ratio could decrease the cell performance. It is also interesting to find out that the contribution of H2 and CO to the total current density is significantly different under various operating conditions, even sometimes CO dominates while H2 plays a negative role. This is different from our conventional understanding that usually H2 contributes more significantly to current generation. In addition, cooling measures are needed to ensure the long-term stability of the cell when operating at a high current density.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Glycerol
  • Internal reforming
  • Numerical modeling
  • Solid oxide fuel cell
  • Thermal effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

Cite this