DEMOSOFC Project: Results From an Industrial-Size Biogas-Fed SOFC

Speaker :
Prof. Massimo Santarelli
Department of Energy, Politecnico di Torino (IT)
Date : 22 Jan 2019 (Tue)
Time : 9:30 am
Venue : Room 4582, HKUST (4/F., Lift #27/28)


The EU-funded DEMOSOFC project ( aims to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of operating a 174 kWe SOFC in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The fuel for the three SOFC modules (3x58 kWe) is biogas, which is available on-site from the anaerobic digestion of sludge collected from the treated wastewater. A heat-recovery loop allows to recover useful thermal energy from the hot SOFC exhaust gases (90-100 kWth), transferred through a water loop to the sludge.

The integrated biogas-SOFC plant includes three main units: 1) the biogas clean-up and compression section; 2) the three SOFC power modules, and 3) the heat recovery loop. Main advantages of the proposed layout is the net electric efficiency of the SOFC, which is in the range 53-55%, and the near-zero emissions in terms of NOx, SOx, VOC, PM.

The talk will present the results from the first year of operation of the DEMOSOFC system, by showing results in terms of plant electrical production and thermal recovery, integration with the existing plant and loads coverage, performance of the biogas purification unit. The data analysis will lead to first evaluations in terms of criticalities and advantages of biogas-fed SOFC in industrial plants. Furthermore, economic and business perspective will be presented for the proposed plant concept.


Prof. Massimo Santarelli (male), Mechanical Engineer, Ph.D. in Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer, Full Professor in Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer, Department of Energy, Politecnico di Torino. Author of around 250 papers in international journals and conferences. The main research activity is linked to the topic of complex innovative systems (thermo-chemical and electro-chemical processes) applied to the energy sector. Coordinator of the STEPS laboratory (Synergies of Thermo-chemical and Electro-chemical Power Systems) of Politecnico di Torino, and of the CO2 Circle Lab of Politecnico di Torino. Member of the Energy Center initiative of Politecnico di Torino. Coordinator of EU Projects SOFCOM (FCH1-JU Call 2010), DEMOSOFC (FCH2-JU Call 2014), REMOTE (FCH2-JU Call 2017).

Partner in EU projects (COMSOS, TEACHY, ENEFIELD, ENFICA-FC, BRISK II, SELECT-CD, Explore Energy, Virtual Hub, MARS-EV), Coordinator of several National Projects. Chair for Italy of ISO/TC 197 “Hydrogen Technologies”, member of IEC-TC 105 “Fuel Cells”.