Thermodynamic analysis of ammonia fed solid oxide fuel cells: Comparison between proton-conducting electrolyte and oxygen ion-conducting electrolyte

Meng Ni, Dennis Y.C. Leung, Michael K.H. Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


A thermodynamic analysis has been performed to compare the theoretical performance of ammonia fed solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) based on proton-conducting electrolyte (SOFC-H) and oxygen ion-conducting electrolyte (SOFC-O). It is found that the ammonia fed SOFC-H is superior to SOFC-O in terms of theoretical maximum efficiency. For example, at a fuel utilization of 80% and an oxygen utilization of 20%, the efficiency of ammonia fed SOFC-H is 11% higher than that of SOFC-O. The difference between SOFC-H and SOFC-O becomes more significant at higher fuel utilizations and higher temperatures. This is because an SOFC-H has a higher hydrogen partial pressure and a lower steam partial pressure than an SOFC-O. In addition, an increase in oxygen utilization is found to increase the efficiency of ammonia fed SOFCs due to an increase in oxygen molar fraction and a reduction in steam molar fraction. With further development of new ceramics with high proton conductivity and effective fabrication of thin film electrolyte, the SOFC based on proton-conducting electrolyte is expected to be a promising approach to convert ammonia fuel into electricity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-686
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Ammonia fuel
  • Electrochemical thermodynamics
  • Electrolyte
  • Proton-conducting ceramics
  • Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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