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Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Jul 1;45(13):5683-8. doi: 10.1021/es1034393. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

Electrochemical enhancement of nitric oxide removal from simulated lean-burn engine exhaust via solid oxide fuel cells.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan, ROC.


A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) unit is constructed with Ni-YSZ as the anode, YSZ as the electrolyte, and La(0.6)Sr(0.4)CoO(3)-Ce(0.9)Gd(0.1)O(1.95) as the cathode. The SOFC operation is performed at 600 °C with a cathode gas simulating the lean-burn engine exhaust and at various fixed voltage, at open-circuit voltage, and with an inert gas flowing over the anode side, respectively. Electrochemical enhancement of NO decomposition occurs when an operating voltage is generated; higher O(2) concentration leads to higher enhancement. Smaller NO concentration results in larger NO conversion. Higher operating voltage and higher O(2) concentration can lead to both higher NO conversion and lower fuel consumption. The molar rate of the consumption of the anode fuel can be very much smaller than that of NO to N(2) conversion. This makes the anode fuel consumed in the SOFC-DeNO(x) process to be much less than the equivalent amount of ammonia consumed in the urea-based selective catalytic reduction process. Additionally, the NO conversion increases with the addition of propylene and SO(2) into the cathode gas. These are beneficial for the application of the SOFC-DeNO(x) technology on treating diesel and other lean-burn engine exhausts.

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