-The overall objective of the SOFCOM Project is to demonstrate the technical feasibility, efficiency and environmental advantages of CCHP (Combined Cooling, Heating and Power) plants based on SOFC (Solid oxide Fuel Cells) fed by different typologies of biogenous primary fuels (locally produced), also integrated by a process for the CO2 separation from the anode exhaust gases. Scientific, technical and economical management of two proof-of-concepts of complete energy systems based on SOFCs are developed through the project. Several issues like high efficiency integration designs, impact of the fuel pollutants on the SOFC and fuel processing units operation, gas cleaning and carbon sequestration module are addressed. A first proof-of-concept SOFC system will be able to operate with biogas produced in an industrial Waste Water Treatment Unit (WWTU), while the second proof-of-concept system will be demonstrated considering a SOFC stack operating with a syngas from biomass gasification.

MATGAS is involved in the lab-scale analysis of the management and disposal of the removed CO2. This concerns capture, conditioning and use of CO2 to be used in water treatment in the same water plant from which the biogas is obtained. During this year we have evaluated the utilization of the CO2 in the treatment of wastewater; among the different opportunities detected, the removal of nutrients by growing microorganisms (microalgaes) was chosen as most interesting and promising and it is the one currently developed by MATGAS into the project. Three bioreactor (lab, bench and demo scale) for treating waste water has been designed, assembled and operated. A lab setup to grow microorganism to assist the research was mounted and microorganisms strain from biological pound was selected and successfully grow in lab. The demonstration trials are being developed in the Waste Water Treatment plant of Sabadell in collaboration with the Town Hall council in other to tune up the demo equipment, previous to its sending to Torino (Italy) to complete the project.

On October 24th and 25th, The SOFCOM Project Meeting will be held at MATGAS facilities in Bellaterra, Barcelona, including a tour to our laboratories. Also, a conference titled “Pressurised SOFC hybrid systems: near term or long term solution?" with invited speaker Prof. Fausto Massardo, Dean of Engineering School at University of Genova and research associate at Rolls Royce during last 15 years, will be held on October 25th.