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Center Innovation Fund: GRC CIF

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Operating on Hydrocarbon Fuel

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Objective is to dramatically increase power density of liquid tin oxide SOFC systems by combining liquid tin oxide SOFC with GRC-developed bilayer supported cell design that capitalizes on microchannel ceramic structure generated by an innovative process.

One objective is to make structural and compositional changes to the largest electrical resistance element of the cell, the electrolyte. And the second objective is to expand on development of anode structures and chemistries. A third objective to be addressed is the low catalytic activity of those chemistries resistant to coking. Development involves use of material science, electrochemistry, and materials processing expertise resident at GRC and the ceramic powder processing expertise. The proposed effort will include (1) Develop fabrication methods to decrease electrolyte thickness > 2x, which will reduce cell resistance by at least 2x and decrease localized IR2 heating thus positively impacting anode life; (2) Change electrolyte chemistry to new co-doped Sc2O3 stabilized zirconias (3x increase in oxygen/charge conduction) or to alternative co-doped Yb2O3 stabilized zirconias (2x increase), which will result in a proportionate increase in power; (3) Increase electrode scaffold porosity and shorten its height to increase liquid tin loading, decrease electrical path, and further decrease weight and volume; (4) Explore liquid tin dopants/alloys with potential to improve wetting behavior and increase fuel catalysis without carbon formation. Test impact of a second metal as an under layer immediately adjacent to the electrolyte. Second metal will be selected for its wetting properties.

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