DEMOSOFC: fuel cells that utilize biogas
The objective of the DEMOSOFC project is to demonstrate the feasibility of a full-scale plant with the innovative technology utilizing solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), which afford higher electrical efficiency and reduce emissions by exploiting a highly-efficient electrochemical process that is virtually free from pollutants.
The SOFCs are new-generation cells that can utilize biogas as a fuel. The use of SOFCs with biogas from purification plants had already been tested on a small scale (2KWe) by SMAT in the European SOFCOM project. Given the good results obtained with this first pilot project, the DEMOSOFC project was launched, also co-financed by the European Union as part of the Horizon 2020 program, calling for the installation of three SOFC modules of 58 kWe each at the SMAT plant in Collegno, Turin.
For the moment, the project is the largest installation of SOFCs in Europe and the largest in the world with SOFCs fed by biogas. In October 2017 the first of the three SOFC modules was put into operation and demonstrated that it functioned with high electrical efficiency (53-56%) and very low emissions. In full operation, DEMOSOFC will cover 25-30% of the total power load of the purification plant.