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A Personal Retrospect on Three Decades of High Temperature Fuel Cell Research; Ideas and Lessons Learned


In 1986 the Dutch national fuel cell program started. Fuel cells were developed under the paradigm of replacing conventional technology. Coal-fired power plants were to be replaced by large-scale MCFC power plants fuelled by hydrogen in a full-scale future hydrogen economy. With today's knowledge we will reflect on these and other ideas with respect to high temperature fuel cell development including the choice for the type of high temperature fuel cell. It is explained that based on thermodynamics proton conducting fuel cells would have been a better choice and the direct carbon fuel cell even more so, with electrochemical gasification of carbon as the ultimate step. The specific characteristics of fuel cells and multisource multiproduct systems were not considered, whereas we understand now that these can provide huge driving forces for the implementation of fuel cells compared to just replacing conventional combined heat and power production technology.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Netherlands

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