Thermo-economic assessment of biomass gasification-based power generation system consists of solid oxide fuel cell, supercritical carbon dioxide cycle and indirectly heated air turbine

  • Dibyendu Roy
  • Samiran SamantaEmail author
  • Sudip Ghosh
Original Paper


This study energetically, exergetically and economically analyses a hybrid electricity generation system. The proposed system is a combination of a biomass gasifier, a solid oxide fuel cell module, an indirectly heated air turbine and a supercritical carbon dioxide power cycle. Influences of major designing and operating plant parameters, viz. current density of the solid oxide fuel cell, pressure ratio of the air compressor, turbine inlet temperature of the CO2 gas turbine, on the performance of the proposed system have been examined. The proposed system exhibits the highest first law efficiency of 51% at the current density of 2000 A/m2 and cell temperature of 1123 K, air compressor pressure ratio of 4.4, CO2 gas turbine inlet pressure and temperature of 10.14 MPa and 423 K. At this aforesaid condition, the proposed system exhibits a second law efficiency of 45%. It is found that the highest amount (40.70%) of exergy destruction takes place at the biomass gasifier, followed by the solid oxide fuel cell (20.05%). The economic analysis predicts that the minimum achievable levelized unit cost of electricity is 0.095 $/kWh.

Graphical abstract


Solid oxide fuel cell Supercritical CO2 cycle Indirectly heated air turbine Biomass gasification Exergy Economy 

List of symbols


Area (m2)


Transmission loss


After burner


Air compressor


Air turbine


Air blower


Capital cost


Engineering, procurement and construction cost


Capital recovery factor


Total equipment cost


Total overnight cost


Total plant cost


Capacity utilization factor


CO2 gas turbine


Engineering equation solver


Electric specific biomass consumption


Exergy (kW)


Faraday constant (C/kmol)


Annual inflation rate (%)


Gas cleaning unit


Specific enthalpy (kJ/kmol)


Heat exchanger


Higher heating value (kJ/kg)


High-pressure compressor


Heat recovery gas heater


Current (A)


Current density (A/m2)


Equilibrium constant


Lower heating value (kJ/kg)


Log mean temperature difference


Low-pressure compressor


Levelized unit cost of electricity


Mass flow rate (kg/s)


Molar flow rate (kmol/s)


Number of cell in a stack


Nominal interest rate


Number of SOFC stack


Pressure (MPa)


Change in Gibbs function (kJ/kmol)


Universal gas constant (kJ/kmol-K)




Specific entropy (kJ/kmol-K)


Solid oxide fuel cell


Temperature (K)


Turbine inlet temperature (K)


Voltage (V)


Cell voltage (V)


Power (kW)


o, ref

Reference state















Greek letters






Exergy efficiency


Combustion effectiveness



  1. Akkaya AV, Sahin B, Huseyin Erdem H (2007) Exergetic performance coefficient analysis of a simple fuel cell system. Int J Hydrog Energy 32:4600–4609. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-attab KA, Zainal ZA (2010) Turbine startup methods for externally fired micro gas turbine (EFMGT) system using biomass fuels. Appl Energy 87:1336–1341. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alauddin ZA (1996) Performance and characteristics of a biomass gasifier system. PhD Thesis. University of Wales, College of Cardiff, UKGoogle Scholar
  4. Al-Sulaiman FA, Dincer I, Hamdullahpur F (2010) Exergy analysis of an integrated solid oxide fuel cell and organic Rankine cycle for cooling, heating and power production. J Power Sources 195:2346–2354. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Altafini CR, Wander PR, Barreto RM (2003) Prediction of the working parameters of a wood waste gasifier through an equilibrium model. Energy Convers Manag 44:2763–2777. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arteaga-Pérez LE, Casas-Ledón Y, Pérez-Bermúdez R et al (2013) Energy and exergy analysis of a sugar cane bagasse gasifier integrated to a solid oxide fuel cell based on a quasi-equilibrium approach. Chem Eng J 228:1121–1132. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Baronci A, Messina G, McPhail SJ, Moreno A (2015) Numerical investigation of a MCFC (molten carbonate fuel cell) system hybridized with a supercritical CO2 Brayton cycle and compared with a bottoming organic Rankine cycle. Energy 93:1063–1073. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bossel UG (1992) Final report on SOFC data facts and figures. Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Berne, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  9. Calise F, Dentice d’Accadia M, Palombo A, Vanoli L (2006) Simulation and exergy analysis of a hybrid solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)-gas turbine system. Energy 31:3278–3299. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chan S, Khor K, Xia Z (2001) A complete polarization model of a solid oxide fuel cell and its sensitivity to the change of cell component thickness. J Power Sources 93:130–140. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chowdhury NR (2014) Advances in trends in woody biomass gasification. Energy engineering and management. Tecnico Lisboa, LisbonGoogle Scholar
  12. Costamagna P, Selimovic A, Del Borghi M, Agnew G (2004) Electrochemical model of the integrated planar solid oxide fuel cell (IP-SOFC). Chem Eng J 102:61–69. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Curletti F, Gandiglio M, Lanzini A et al (2015) Large size biogas-fed solid oxide fuel cell power plants with carbon dioxide management: technical and economic optimization. J Power Sources 294:669–690. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Datta A, Ganguly R, Sarkar L (2010) Energy and exergy analyses of an externally fired gas turbine (EFGT) cycle integrated with biomass gasifier for distributed power generation. Energy 35:341–350. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Doherty W, Reynolds A, Kennedy D (2015) Process simulation of biomass gasification integrated with a solid oxide fuel cell stack. J Power Sources 277:292–303. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Elmer T, Worall M, Wu S, Riffat S (2016) Assessment of a novel solid oxide fuel cell tri-generation system for building applications. Energy Convers Manag 124:29–41. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Facci AL, Cigolotti V, Jannelli E, Ubertini S (2017) Technical and economic assessment of a SOFC-based energy system for combined cooling, heating and power. Appl Energy 192:563–574. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fuente SSDL, Roberge D, Greig AR (2017) Safety and CO2 emissions: implications of using organic fluids in a ship’s waste heat recovery system. Mar Policy 75:191–203. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gandiglio M, Drago D, Santarelli M (2016) Techno-economic analysis of a solid oxide fuel cell installation in a biogas plant fed by agricultural residues and comparison with alternative biogas exploitation paths. Energy Procedia 101:1002–1009. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gholamian E, Mahmoudi SMS, Zare V (2016) Proposal, exergy analysis and optimization of a new biomass-based cogeneration system. Appl Therm Eng 93:223–235. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gräbner M, Krahl J, Meyer B (2014) Evaluation of biomass gasification in a ternary diagram. Biomass Bioenerg 64:190–198. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. IRENA (2012) Biomass for power generation, renewable energy technologies: cost analysis series, 1. IRENA secretariat, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Accessed 28 March 2018
  23. Jia J, Abudula A, Wei L et al (2015) Thermodynamic modeling of an integrated biomass gasification and solid oxide fuel cell system. Renew Energy 81:400–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kotas TJ (1985) The exergy method of thermal plant analysis. Butter-Worths, LondonGoogle Scholar
  25. Lanzini A, Kreutz TG, Martelli E, Santarelli M (2014) Energy and economic performance of novel integrated gasifier fuel cell (IGFC) cycles with carbon capture. Int J Greenh Gas Control 26:169–184. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Li C, Wang H (2016) Power cycles for waste heat recovery from medium to high temperature flue gas sources-from a view of thermodynamic optimization. Appl Energy 180:707–721. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Li M, Brouwer J, Rao AD, Samuelsen GS (2011) Application of a detailed dimensional solid oxide fuel cell model in integrated gasification fuel cell system design and analysis. J Power Sources 196:5903–5912. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ma S, Wang J, Yan Z et al (2011) Thermodynamic analysis of a new combined cooling, heat and power system driven by solid oxide fuel cell based on ammonia–water mixture. J Power Sources 196:8463–8471. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mahmoudi SMS, Ghavimi AR (2016) Thermoeconomic analysis and multi objective optimization of a molten carbonate fuel cell—supercritical carbon dioxide—organic Rankin cycle integrated power system using liquefied natural gas as heat sink. Appl Therm Eng 107:1219–1232. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Malek ABMA, Hasanuzzaman M, Rahim NA, Al Turki YA (2017) Techno-economic analysis and environmental impact assessment of a 10 MW biomass-based power plant in Malaysia. J Clean Prod 141:502–513. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Meratizaman M, Monadizadeh S, Pourali O, Amidpour M (2015) High efficient-low emission power production from low BTU gas extracted from heavy fuel oil gasification, introduction of IGCC-SOFC process. J Nat Gas Sci Eng 23:1–15. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mondal S, De S (2015) CO2 based power cycle with multi-stage compression and intercooling for low temperature waste heat recovery. Energy 90:1132–1143. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mondal P, Ghosh S (2017) Exergo-economic analysis of a 1-MW biomass-based combined cycle plant with externally fired gas turbine cycle and supercritical organic Rankine cycle. Clean Technol Environ Policy 19:1475–1486. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nakyai T, Authayanun S, Patcharavorachot Y et al (2017) Exergoeconomics of hydrogen production from biomass air–steam gasification with methane co-feeding. Energy Convers Manag 140:228–239. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nami H, Mahmoudi SMS, Nemati A (2017) Exergy, economic and environmental impact assessment and optimization of a novel cogeneration system including a gas turbine, a supercritical CO2 and organic Rankine cycle (GT-HRSG/SCO2). Appl Therm Eng 110:1315–1330. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. NETL (2011) Quality guidelines for energy systems studies: cost estimation methodology for NETL plant performance. NETL, US DOE, PittsburghGoogle Scholar
  37. Niu X-D, Yamaguchi H, Iwamoto Y, Zhang X-R (2013) Optimal arrangement of the solar collectors of a supercritical CO2-based solar Rankine cycle system. Appl Therm Eng 50(1):505–510. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ozcan H, Dincer I (2015) Performance evaluation of an SOFC based trigeneration system using various gaseous fuels from biomass gasification. Int J Hydrog Energy 40:7798–7807. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Perna A, Minutillo M, Jannelli E et al (2017) Performance assessment of a hybrid SOFC/MGT cogeneration power plant fed by syngas from a biomass down-draft gasifier. Appl Energy. Google Scholar
  40. Persichilli M, Held T, Hostler S, Zdankiewicz E, Klapp D (2011) Transforming waste heat to power through development of a CO2-based-power cycle. In: Proceedings of the electric power expo 2011, 10–12 May, Rosemount, USAGoogle Scholar
  41. Persichilli M, Kacludis A, Zdankiewicz E, Held T (2012) Supercritical CO2 power cycle developments and commercialization: why sCO2 can displace steam. In: Proceedings of the power-gen India and central Asia 2012, 19–21 April, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  42. Pierobon L, Kandepu R, Haglind F (2012) Waste heat recovery for offshore applications. In: Proceedings of the ASME 2012 international mechanical engineering congress and ExpositionIMECE2012, November 9–15, Houston, Texas, USA.
  43. Pirkandi J, Ghassemi M, Hamedi MH, Mohammadi R (2012) Electrochemical and thermodynamic modeling of a CHP system using tubular solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC-CHP). J Clean Prod 29–30:151–162. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ranjbar F, Chitsaz A, Mahmoudi SMS et al (2014) Energy and exergy assessments of a novel trigeneration system based on a solid oxide fuel cell. Energy Convers Manag 87:318–327. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Reyhani HA, Meratizaman M, Ebrahimi A et al (2016) Thermodynamic and economic optimization of SOFC-GT and its cogeneration opportunities using generated syngas from heavy fuel oil gasification. Energy 107:141–164. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Samanta S, Ghosh S (2016) A thermo-economic analysis of repowering of a 250 MW coal fired power plant through integration of Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell with carbon capture. Int J Greenh Gas Control 51:48–55. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Samanta S, Ghosh S (2017) Techno-economic assessment of a repowering scheme for a coal fired power plant through upstream integration of SOFC and downstream integration of MCFC. Int J Greenh Gas Control 64:234–245. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Santhanam S, Schilt C, Turker B et al (2016) Thermodynamic modeling and evaluation of high efficiency heat pipe integrated biomass gasifier-solid oxide fuel cells-gas turbine systems. Energy 109:751–764. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shirazi A, Aminyavari M, Najafi B et al (2012) Thermal e economic e environmental analysis and multi-objective optimization of an internal-reforming solid oxide fuel cell–gas turbine hybrid system. Int J Hydrog Energy 37:19111–19124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Shu G, Gao Y, Tian H, Wei H, Liang X (2014) Study of mixtures based on hydrocarbons used in ORC (organic Rankine cycle) for engine waste heat recovery. Energy 74:428–438. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Siefert NS, Litster S (2014) Exergy and economic analysis of biogas fueled solid oxide fuel cell systems. J Power Sources 272:386–397. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Singh R, Miller SA, Rowlands AS, Jacobs PA (2013) Dynamic characteristics of a direct-heated supercritical carbon-dioxide Brayton cycle in a solar thermal power plant. Energy 50:194–204. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Soltani S, Mahmoudi SMS, Yari M, Rosen MA (2013) Thermodynamic analyses of an externally fired gas turbine combined cycle integrated with a biomass gasification plant. Energy Convers Manag 70:107–115. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Taheri MH, Mosaffa AH, Farshi LG (2017) Energy, exergy and economic assessments of a novel integrated biomass based multigeneration energy system with hydrogen production and LNG regasification cycle. Energy 125:162–177. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tao G, Armstrong T, Virkar A (2005) Intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell (IT-SOFC) research and development activities at MSRI. In: Nineteenth annual ACERC and ICES conference, UT, USAGoogle Scholar
  56. Trading Economics. Accessed 27 July 2017
  57. Wachsman ED, Singhal SC (2009) Solid oxide fuel cell commercialization, research and challenges. Electrochem Soc Interface 18:38–43Google Scholar
  58. Wang J, Mao T, Sui J, Jin H (2015) Modeling and performance analysis of CCHP (combined cooling, heating and power) system based on co-firing of natural gas and biomass gasification gas. Energy 93:801–815. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wang K, He YL, Zhu HH (2017a) Integration between supercritical CO2 Brayton cycles and molten salt solar power towers: a review and a comprehensive comparison of different cycle layouts. Appl Energy 195:819–836. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wang X, Liu Q, Bai Z et al (2017b) Thermodynamic analysis of the cascaded supercritical CO2 cycle integrated with solar and biomass energy. Energy Procedia 105:445–452. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wongchanapai S, Iwai H, Saito M, Yoshida H (2012) Performance evaluation of an integrated small-scale SOFC-biomass gasification power generation system. J Power Sources 216:314–322. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Yamaguchi H, Zhang XR, Fujima K et al (2006) Solar energy powered Rankine cycle using supercritical CO2. Appl Therm Eng 26:2345–2354. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Yoshida H, Iwai H (2005) Thermal management in solid oxide fuel cell systems. In: Proceedings of 5th international conference on enhanced compact and ultra compact heat exchangers: science, engineering and technology, Hoboken, NJ, USAGoogle Scholar
  64. Zainal ZA, Ali R, Lean CH, Seetharamu KN (2001) Prediction of performance of a downdraft gasifier using equilibrium modeling for different biomass materials. Energy Convers Manag 42:1499–1515. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Zhang X, Li X (2012) Energy and exergy performance investigation of transcritical CO2-based Rankine cycle powered by solar energy. Sci China Technol Sci 55(5):1427–1436. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Zhang S, Liu H, Liu M et al (2017) An efficient integration strategy for a SOFC-GT-SORC combined system with performance simulation and parametric optimization. Appl Therm Eng 121:314–324. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Zhang Q, Ogren RM, Kong SC (2018) Thermo-economic analysis and multi-objective optimization of a novel waste heat recovery system with a transcritical CO2 cycle for offshore gas turbine application. Energy Convers Manag 172:212–227. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringIndian Institute of Engineering Science and TechnologyShibpur, HowrahIndia
  2. 2.School of Mechanical EngineeringKalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Deemed to be UniversityBhubaneswarIndia

Personalised recommendations