The Solid Oxide Cells (SOCs) are able to operate in two modes: (a) the Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) that produce electricity and heat and (b) the Solid Oxide Electrolyser Cells (SOEC) that consume electricity and heat to electrolyse water and produce hydrogen and oxygen.
The present paper presents a carbon free SOEC/SOFC combined system for the production of hydrogen, electricity and heat (tri-generation) from natural gas fuel. Hydrogen can be locally used as automobile fuel whereas the oxygen produced in the SOEC is used to combust the depleted fuel from the SOFC, which is producing electricity and heat from natural gas. In order to achieve efficient carbon capture in such a system, water steam should be used as the SOEC anode sweep gas, to allow the production of nitrogen free flue gases. The SOEC and SOFC operations were matched through modeling of all components in Aspenplus™. The exergetic efficiency of the proposed decentralised system is 28.25% for power generation and 18.55% for production of hydrogen. The system is (a) carbon free because it offers an almost pure pressurised CO2 stream to be driven for fixation via parallel pipelines to the natural gas feed, (b) does not require any additional water for its operation and (c) offers 26.53% of its energetic input as hot water for applications.