Minimizing CR-Evaporation from Balance of Plant Components by Utilizing Cost-Effective Alumina-Forming Austenitic Steels Email Page
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Performer:  West Virginia University Research Corporation Location:  Morgantown, WV
Project Duration:  10/01/2016 – 03/31/2021 Award Number:  FE0027947
Technology Area:  Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Total Award Value:  $1,790,907
Key Technology:  Core Technology DOE Share:  $1,329,410
Performer Share:  $461,497

Preliminary results on Cr-evaporation rates of AFA and related alloys.
Preliminary results on Cr-evaporation rates of AFA and related alloys.

Project Description

In this project, West Virginia University Research Corporation (WVU-RC) will develop and utilize cost-effective alumina-forming austenitic (AFA) steels for balance of plant (BOP) components and pipes in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems to minimize chromium (Cr)-poisoning and improve system stability. WVU-RC and its partners will also investigate the influence of the operation conditions on the oxidation of and Cr-release from the AFA steels, and their effects on the degradation of SOFC performance. In addition, they will manufacture and test the related BOP components in industrial SOFC systems. To achieve these ends, WVU-RC will work with Carpenter and ORNL to develop AFAs as cost-effective alternatives for two common BOP alloys, which will provide improved stability and Cr-blocking performance. WVU-RC, ORNL, and FCE will then conduct studies on oxidation kinetics and Cr evaporation in simulated SOFC environments. Subsequently, WVU-RC will investigate Cr-poisoning of the SOFC cathode associated with BOP materials (AFA and baseline alloys). For the project’s final task, WVU-RC and its partners will perform a preliminary techno-economic evaluation on various candidate AFAs for SOFC BOP components. They will identify key BOP components and develop plans for manufacturing and testing/evaluation in industrial settings.

Project Benefits

The WVU-RC project will develop and demonstrate AFA alloys for the applications of both intermediate and high-temperature BOP components, mitigating the degradation of commonly accepted SOFC cathode materials from Cr-poisoning and providing an avenue for widespread commercialization. AFA stainless steels exhibit superior corrosion resistance with creep strengths in the range of advanced austenitics, without sacrificing the typical lower cost, formability, and weldability of conventional chromia-forming high-temperature stainless steels. The AFA alloy family effectively bridges the gap between low-cost stainless steels (but with high Cr-evaporation rates) and costly, high-performance Ni-base superalloys.

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Joseph Stoffa:
Technology Manager Shailesh Vora:
Principal Investigator Xingbo Liu: xingbo.liu@mail.wvu