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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Photo-Enhanced Hydrogen Transport Technology for Clean Renewable Electrochemical Energy Systems

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Photo-Enhanced Hydrogen Transport Technology for Clean Renewable Electrochemical Energy Systems
Solid oxide fuel cells and electrolyzers are promising electrochemical devices for space and terrestrial applications due to their high power densities and clean operation. Furthermore, proton-conducting oxides have the potential to allow lower operational temperatures and promote more reliable and longer-lived devicesboth valuable attributes for space applicationshowever, practical devices are not yet realized because of insufficient proton mobility at moderate temperatures. Phenom Technologies, Inc. has identified a new non-thermal technique to dramatically enhance the mobility of protons in solid oxides using resonant infrared irradiation to excite molecular O-H vibrations in the material. In our earlier work, we have shown that this photo-enhanced hydrogen transport effect can increase the proton diffusion rate in solid oxides by nine orders of magnitude. In this Phase I STTR proposal, we will build on our established research to complete a proof of concept study and lay the foundation for Phase II prototype development of a "photo-enhanced" solid oxide electrolyte for fuel cells and electrolyzers. This study will address NASA's need for more reliable and efficient solid oxide electrochemical components for clean renewable energy systems. More »

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