Processing of SOFC Anodes for Enhanced Intermediate Temperature Catalytic Activity at High Fuel Utilization

 

Plot of power density versus current density,<br/>showing the reduction of power density with<br/>increasing fuel utilization. Since commercial fuel<br/>cells run at high fuel utilization, it is important to<br/>mitigate such effects.
Plot of power density versus current density,
showing the reduction of power density with
increasing fuel utilization. Since commercial fuel
cells run at high fuel utilization, it is important to
mitigate such effects.
Performer: 
Trustees of Boston University
Website:  Trustees of Boston University
Award Number:  FE0026096
Project Duration:  10/01/2015 – 07/31/2020
Total Award Value:  $1,000,000
DOE Share:  $800,000
Performer Share:  $200,000
Technology Area:  Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Key Technology: 
Location:  Boston, Massachusetts

Project Description

Boston University (BU) will design solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) anodes that are functional at intermediate temperatures and maintain high power densities at high fuel utilization, which is accompanied by high water vapor concentrations at the anode. BU will demonstrate the ability to deposit fine nano-sized connected nickel (Ni) catalyst particles by infiltration into porous yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) and YSZ/Ni scaffolds to increase triple phase boundary length. Project personnel will optimize the anode microstructure based on quantitative microstructural characterization, polarization measurements, and modeling. The result will be the production of SOFC cells that demonstrate a substantial improvement in cell performance at intermediate temperatures and high fuel utilization rates compared to cells with conventionally processed anodes. The challenge is to deposit them in a fine, but connected microstructure, with substantial neck formation during sintering without significant coarsening. This project leverages previous related work under DOE contracts NT0004104 and FE0009656.

Project Benefits

BU's research will produce SOFCs with optimized anode microstructures resulting in demonstrated improved power densities at intermediate temperatures and high utilization rates (up to 85% water vapor) and an improvement in power density compared to a conventionally processed anode.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Steven Markovich: steven.markovich@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager 
Shailesh Vora: shailesh.vora@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator 
Soumendra Basu: basu@bu.edu
 

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