This work describes the performance of the direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC) fuelled by ash-free coal. Employing coal in the DCFC might be problematic, mainly because of the ash deposition after the cell reactions. In the study, the carbonaceous ash-free component of coal is obtained, which is then evaluated as the DCFC fuel and compared with raw coal, active carbon, carbon black, and graphite. The electrolyte-supported SOFC structure is adapted to build the DCFC. The DCFC based on the ash-free coal fuel exhibits good performance with regard to the maximum power density, day-by-day measurements, and durability at continuous run. When the carbon fuels are internally gasified to H2 and CO, the power density is generally much improved, compared to N2 pyrolysis environment. The power generation is most likely related to the concentration of pyrolyzed gases as well as the electrochemical reactivity of the solid carbon.
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