MCFC fed with biogas: Experimental investigation of sulphur poisoning using impedance spectroscopy

Viviana Cigolotti, Stephen McPhail, Angelo Moreno, Sung Pil Yoon, Jong Hee Han, Suk Woo Nam, Tae Hoon Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The combination of biogas from anaerobic digestion and molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) enables highly efficient utilisation of a renewable energy source, maximizing the energetic yield from alternative fuels and minimizing environmental impact in terms of polluting emissions. However, the contaminant levels in the biogas are often unacceptable for performing and durable operation of an MCFC; it is thus desirable to establish and improve the tolerance level of the fuel cell to these contaminants. In this work, the effect of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) in the fuel gas is investigated on the electrochemical performance and the regenerative capacities of a single MCFC. Different concentrations of H2S (1, 3, 5, 8 ppm) were added to the anode gas composition during cell operation and the respective effects are investigated. Electrochemical impedance measurements are carried out to identify the processes which take place in the anode. Experimental results will be presented, showing the effects and implications of cell poisoning with H2S, the most common contaminant from biogas produced by anaerobic digestion, harmful to both the MCFC anode and the reforming catalyst. This investigation is required in order to identify the tolerance limits of current MCFC materials, especially as regards different concentrations of H2S that can occur due to composition variations of the produced biogas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10311-10318
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This Research was supported by the Global Research Laboratory Program funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Korea .


  • Biogas
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)
  • Molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC)
  • Sulphur

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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