The effect of impurities on the performance of bioethanol-used internal reforming molten carbonate fuel cell

Hary Devianto, Jonghee Han, Sung Pil Yoon, Suk Woo Nam, Tae Hoon Lim, In Hwan Oh, Seong Ahn Hong, Ho In Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of impurities in bioethanol, such as diethyl amine, acetic acid, methanol, and propanol, on the performance of a direct internal reforming molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) were investigated. A single cell with an Ni/MgO-coated anode was operated using bioethanol containing 1% impurities. The cell voltages of the single cells increased after the introduction of methanol and diethyl amine impurities. On the other hand, the single cell operated with propanol and acetic acid impurities showed somewhat worse performance than when it was operated without impurities. Activity tests were carried out to explain this phenomenon in detail. These tests showed that methanol as an impurity is reformed easily and increases the H2 concentration in the reformed gas thereby increasing conversion and selectivity. Propanol, which is reformed incompletely, negatively affects the conversion and H2 selectivity. Diethyl amine follows a basic reaction pathway and is reformed completely without coke formation, and acetic acid, which follows an acidic pathway, forms significant coke on the catalyst which deactivates the catalytic activity. Mixtures of these four impurities, in varying mole ratios were tested for catalytic activity, and it was found that of the mixtures tested, the one with a ratio 2:1:4:1 (methanol:propanol:diethyl amine:acetic acid) showed the best catalytic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10346-10354
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the Center for Fuel Cell Research of Korea Institute of Science and Technology ; the Global Research Laboratory Program by the National Research Foundation , Republic of Korea; and by the ERC program of MOST/KOSEF (Grant No. R11-2002-102-00000-0 ).


  • Bioethanol
  • Coking
  • Impurities
  • MCFC
  • Steam reforming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of impurities on the performance of bioethanol-used internal reforming molten carbonate fuel cell'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this