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Fuel cells for power generation and waste treatment

Gair, S. and Cruden, A.J. and McDonald, J.R. and Hegarty, T. and Chesshire, M. (2006) Fuel cells for power generation and waste treatment. Journal of Power Sources, 154 (2). pp. 472-478. ISSN 0378-7753

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It is now becoming increasingly clear that the in situ use of biomass and organic waste streams are likely to provide the key to energy self sustainability for islands and remote communities. Traditionally biofuels have been used in combustion engines for electric power generation, however, when replaced by fuel cells there is the prospect of achieving higher generating efficiencies, coupled with, in some instances, the opportunity to produce biofuel at a cheaper rate than conventional fuels. Additionally, important environmental benefits can be achieved by way of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, whilst providing a carbon sink. This paper presents the design details of such an installation that will provide a practical solution on an island (and be applicable in other remote and rural areas) where connection to the grid can be expensive, and where biofuels can be produced on site at no significant extra cost.