More on Direct Carbon Fuel Cells
* Combines effective methods that extract the liquid hydrocarbons from coal and produce a solid carbon fuelUsing torrefied biomass allows you to avoid the costly pollution (mercury etc) extracting steps necessary when processing coal for this purpose.
* Generates two separate energy products (liquid petroleum and electricity) from coal, America’s major domestic energy source
* Utilizes fuels with high sulfur content and doesn’t require expensive sulfur-sensitive catalysts
* Logistics fuels produced are low sulfur
* Does not require hydrogen to generate electricity
* Reduces dependence on foreign oil
* Provides independent source of logistics fuels
* Exceeds 35% efficiency of current coal-burning electrical-generation plants
The DCFC generates electricity from solid carbon using an electrochemical process which is more efficient than combustion. The process converts a 100 megawatt-hour amount of coal into 33 megawatt-hours equivalent of transporation fuels and 31 megawatt-hours of electricity.
DCFC technology doesn’t require expensive sulfur-sensitive catalysts, so it effectively utilizes fuels with high sulfur content, and does not require any hydrogen to generate electricity.
More information at this PDF reprint file Fuel Cell Review
The emphasis to this point has been on using coal for efficient direct electrical generation. As the infrastructure for biomass torrefaction matures, it is likely that this process will be used for direct conversion of the less toxic biomass product.