Numerical performance analysis of solid oxide fuel cell stacks with internal ammonia cracking

Omid Babaie Rizvandi*, Arash Nemati, Hossein Nami, Peter Vang Hendriksen, Henrik Lund Frandsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Ammonia-fueled operation of solid oxide fuel cells is a promising alternative to their hydrogen-fueled operation. However, high ammonia decomposition rates at elevated operating temperatures of the solid oxide cells lead to a significant temperature drop at the stack inlet, causing increased thermal stresses. A multi-scale model is used in this study to investigate stack performance under direct feed and external pre-cracking of ammonia. Additionally, the effects of co- and counter-flow configurations, gas inflow temperatures, current density, and air flow rate on the stack performance under direct ammonia feed are examined. The simulation results show that for gas inlet temperatures above 750 °C, the power densities with direct feed and external cracking of ammonia differ by less than 5%. Moreover, it is indicated that the thermal stresses are lowest for the co-flow case, which decrease with decreasing gas inlet temperature and current density and with increasing air flow. Finally, this study shows that under practically applicable operating conditions, the risk of mechanical failure of the cells under direct ammonia feed operation is small.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number91
Pages (from-to)35723-35743
Publication statusPublished - 15. Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Solid oxide fuel cell stack
  • Ammonia-fueled operation
  • Stack-scale modeling
  • Ammonia cooling effects
  • High-temperature gradient
  • Thermal stresses


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