Rich-burn, flame-assisted fuel cell, quick-mix, lean-burn (RFQL) combustor and power generation

Ryan J. Milcarek, Jeongmin Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Micro-tubular flame-assisted fuel cells (mT-FFC) were recently proposed as a modified version of the direct flame fuel cell (DFFC) operating in a dual chamber configuration. In this work, a rich-burn, quick-mix, lean-burn (RQL) combustor is combined with a micro-tubular solid oxide fuel cell (mT-SOFC) stack to create a rich-burn, flame-assisted fuel cell, quick-mix, lean-burn (RFQL) combustor and power generation system. The system is tested for rapid startup and achieves peak power densities after only 35 min of testing. The mT-FFC power density and voltage are affected by changes in the fuel-lean and fuel-rich combustion equivalence ratio. Optimal mT-FFC performance favors high fuel-rich equivalence ratios and a fuel-lean combustion equivalence ratio around 0.80. The electrical efficiency increases by 150% by using an intermediate temperature cathode material and improving the insulation. The RFQL combustor and power generation system achieves rapid startup, a simplified balance of plant and may have applications for reduced NOx formation and combined heat and power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - Mar 31 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Flame-assisted fuel cell (FFC)
  • Fuel-rich combustion
  • Micro-combined heat and power
  • Micro-tubular solid oxide fuel cell (mT-SOFC)
  • Rich-burn quick-mix lean-burn (RQL) combustor
  • Two-stage combustor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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