Energy harvesting from algae using large-scale flat-tube solid oxide fuel cells

Junkang Sang, Yuqing Li, Jun Yang, Tao Wu, Xiang LUO, Yongming Zhao, Wanbing Guan, Jingxiang Xu, Maorong Chai, Subhash C. Singhal

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Algae have emerged as a promising sustainable energy source; however, efficient methods for generating electricity from algae are still lacking. In this study, power generation using large-scale flat-tube solid oxide fuel cells fueled with biosyngas from microwave-enhanced pyrolysis of algae is demonstrated. The power density of a cell fueled with biosyngas from laminaria is 379.8 mW/cm2 under 0.8 V at 750°C, which is approximately 91.7% of the density of a cell fueled with pure hydrogen. Fueled with dry syngas (laminaria), the cell fails within 3 h because of carbon deposition. Adding 5 vol % H2O to syngas (laminaria) inhibits carbon deposition and enables 800 h of galvanostatic operation without degradation under 200 mA/cm2 at 750°C. A 100-cycle pulsed operation of the cell with syngas (laminaria, 5 vol % H2O) under different loads, simulating practical scenarios with variable energy demands, is obtained. Based on the simulation results, the temperature fluctuations within the cell under different current densities are analyzed. Overall, this work advances practical efforts to improve solid oxide fuel cells for biosyngas consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101454
JournalCell Reports Physical Science
Issue number6
Early online date8 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2023


  • solid oxide fuel cell
  • algae
  • biosyngas
  • pulsed power generation
  • carbon deposition
  • durability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Engineering (all)
  • Energy (all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (all)


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