Techno-economic assessments of systems which integrate biomass gasification with fuel cell modules (molten carbonate or phosphoric acid) for electricity generation are presented. The wood-fired Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell was found to be suitable where high heat/electricity values were required, but had low electrical efficiency. Electrical efficiencies of 13–17% are typical for these systems, as are Break-even Electricity Selling Prices (BESPs) of 10–20 p/kWh and specific investments of around £3000–£7500/kWe. This technology is unlikely to be considered for further development as an electricity generation system.The wood-fired Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell was found to be quite efficient and suitable for small-scale electricity generation purposes. Electrical efficiencies of 25–28% are typical for these systems, as are Break-even Electricity Selling Prices of 6–12 p/kWh and specific investments of around £2000–£5000/kWe. This technology could be considered for further development in the future, if the lifetime and capital costs of molten carbonate fuel cells can be improved. The problems in assessing future capital costs makes the economic viability of such systems difficult to determine.
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