Pressurized SOEC - a possible solution to efficient energy storage




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In the era of decentralized electricity and power network, micro-grids are being developed to integrate versatile power systems comprising primarily of renewable energy sources cultivating the concept of self-sustaining energy scenario. Pertaining to the case of Denmark, 50% of the electricity produced currently is from renewable energy sources and is expected to increase over the coming years. One drawback of energy sources such as wind and solar is the intermittency of power supply. An interesting storage technology which is novel and still in its demonstration phase is high temperature electrolysis using Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells (SOECs). Owing to a high conversion efficiency, these cells can be used for Power-to-Gas (PtG) and Power-to-Liquid (PtL) solutions.

SOECs can convert both CO2 and steam into syngas by using electricity and heat during operation. This syngas can further be rendered useful for conversion into hydrocarbons. Looking at PtG scenario, conversion of CO2 and steam into methane is of interest due to the existing infrastructure for storage and distribution. Previously, tests have been performed at atmospheric pressure to produce syngas and thereafter convert this syngas downstream into methane. However, recently an experiment performed at DTU Risø confirmed the fact that operating SOECs at high pressure leads to internal methantion.

In this project, State-of-the-art SOEC produced in-house at DTU Risø will be tested at high pressure. The student will get hands-on experience in a novel technology with a highly qualified group of scientists and technicians at aid. The aim is to understand the mechanism of internal methanation in such a cell by performing some experiments at high pressure and by varying operating parameters. The student would learn to analyze the data in aspects of cell degradation and be able to provide insights into limiting the degradation. Furthermore, it would be of particular interest to study the carbon deposition, if any, on the cell by modifying operating parameters. The study encompasses both experimental and analytical aspects.

A student who wishes to undertake a MSc project with a background in basic physics, chemistry and chemical/mechanical engineering is preferred. The student will be supervised by PhD student Megha Rao on daily basis and a senior scientist Søren Højgaard Jensen on a weekly basis.


Basic knowledge of physics, chemistry, engineering

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