Comparison of the efficiency of a thermo-chemical process to that of a fuel cell process when both involve the same chemical reaction
MetadataShow full item record
This work assesses if a plausible theoretical thermo-chemical scheme can be conceived of, that is capable of extracting work from chemical reactants which can be compared with work produced by a fuel cell, when both processes are supplied with the same reactants. A theoretical process is developed to convert heat liberated from a chemical reaction to work. The hypothetical process is carried over a series of isothermal chemical reactor - heat engine combinations. Conducting the chemical reaction and work extraction over a series of temperature steps minimizes irreversibilities that result from the chemical reaction and heat transfer. Results obtained from the numerical calculations on the scheme confirm that when a large number of reactors-engine combinations are used, irreversibility of the proposed hypothetical reactor-engine combination can be reduced to zero. It is concluded from the results, that the theoretical model is as efficient as a fuel cell when both have the same chemical reaction under identical conditions. The effect of inert gas chemistry on the process has also been observed. It is determined from the results that the chemistry of the inert gas does not affect the proposed process. It is determined from results of a parametric study on the composition of inert gas, that the reduction of inert gas does not significantly improve the efficiency of the proposed process.
Bulusu, Seshu Periah (2007). Comparison of the efficiency of a thermo-chemical process to that of a fuel cell process when both involve the same chemical reaction. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from