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SBIR/STTR

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

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Photo-Enhanced Hydrogen Transport Technology for Clean Renewable Electrochemical Energy Systems, Phase I
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 devices--both valuable attributes for space applications--however, 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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