Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Pratap M. Rao, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Andrew R. Teixeira, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Nikolaos K. Kazantzis, Committee Member


Ravindra Datta




Ammonia has emerged as an attractive potential hydrogen carrier due to its extremely high energy density (hydrogen density), ease of storage and transportation as a liquid, and carbon-free nature. Direct utilization of ammonia in high-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) has been demonstrated over the past decade. Concurrence of in situ endothermic ammonia decomposition and exothermic electrochemical hydrogen oxidation permit efficient heat integration. In this study, the experimental analyses of axial temperature and concentration profiles along the tubular SOFC (t-SOFC) fed directly with ammonia are performed to investigate the coupled ammonia decomposition and hydrogen oxidation reactions as well as the effect of polarization. Fast ammonia decomposition over the Ni catalyst is evident at the inlet of t-SOFC and complete ammonia conversion is confirmed above 600ºC. It is found that direct ammonia-fueled t-SOFC and an equivalent hydrogen-nitrogen fueled t-SOFC provide identical performances. With 100 SCCM of ammonia fuel feed, a maximum power of 12.2 W and fuel utilization of 81% are obtained at 800ºC in a t-SOFC with active area of 32 cm2. The temperature and concentration profiles validate that the efficient heat integration inside ammonia-fueled t-SOFC is feasible if t-SOFC is operated at the temperature of 700ºC and below. The 23-hour performance test and SEM-EDS images of the fresh and used Ni-YSZ cermet surfaces confirm uniform performance and good durability of ammonia t-SOFC.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Chemical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





ammonia decomposition, concentration gradient, direct ammonia-fueled t-SOFC, t-SOFC, temperature gradient, Tubular solid oxide fuel cell