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Potentials for Fuel Cells in Refineries and Chlor-Alkali Plants
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The market potentials for fuel cell cogeneration systems in petroleum refineries and chlor-alkali plants were evaluated. Costs of the total energy consumed (power plus steam) were calculated and compared with those for more conventional cogeneration systems. Questionnaires were sent to major plants in both industries to determine technical requirements and data required for the assessment of the market potential. The most promising application appears to be in chlor-alkali plants where the production process is electricity intensive. Future anticipated changes in the production process are favorable to the use of fuel cells. The energy use in refineries is steam intensive with the required steam pressures ranging from approximately 15 to 650 psig. The near-term use of fuel cell cogeneration in refineries is not as attractive as in chlor-alkali plants. The phosphoric acid fuel cell is the most developed and the most cost competitive, but its use is limited by its being able to produce only low-pressure steam. Over the longer term, the molten carbonate and the solid oxide fuel cell, both of which operate at significantly higher temperatures, are technically very attractive. However, they do not appear to be cost competitive with conventional systems.
SubjectFuel Cell Cogeneration Systems
Altseimer, J. H.; Roach, F. (1986). Potentials for Fuel Cells in Refineries and Chlor-Alkali Plants. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from