FuelCell Energy‘s patent involves a method for enhancing performance and longevity of molten carbonate fuel cells under carbon capture conditions. By maintaining an elevated electrolyte level and specific operating parameters, improved efficiency and durability are achieved. GlobalData’s report on FuelCell Energy gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on FuelCell Energy, Hydrogen fuel cells was a key innovation area identified from patents. FuelCell Energy's grant share as of January 2024 was 51%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Method for operating molten carbonate fuel cell with increased electrolyte

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: FuelCell Energy Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11888199B2) discloses a method for producing electricity in a molten carbonate fuel cell with a lithium-containing electrolyte. The method involves operating the fuel cell with a cathode input stream containing CO2 at an average current density of 120 mA/cm2 or higher and a CO2 utilization rate of 90% or more. Additionally, the fuel cell should have a combined target electrolyte fill level of 70 vol % or more of the combined matrix pore volume and cathode pore volume.

Furthermore, the patent claims specify various parameters for the operation of the molten carbonate fuel cell, such as limiting the cathode input stream's CO2 content to 5.0 vol % or less, maintaining a cathode exhaust with 2.0 vol % or less of CO2, and operating the cell at a transference of 0.95 or less. The electrolyte composition is also highlighted, with a requirement for a non-eutectic mixture or a lithium carbonate content exceeding the corresponding eutectic composition by 10 wt % or more. The method also includes operating the fuel cell at an average current density of 150 mA/cm2 or higher for a cumulative time of 50 hours or more, with specific target cathode electrolyte fill levels ranging from 85 vol % to 140 vol %.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.