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SBIR/STTR

An Advanced Anode Electrocatalysis Concept for Direct Methane SOFC Systems, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Planned Mars missions require long duration stays in orbit or at planet's surface, cannot rely on availability of pure reactant for power generation, and necessitate sun-independent operation capability. Direct methane solid oxide fuel cell (DM-SOFC) technology with an internal reforming approach has been investigated for generation of electric power from methane in order to preserve mission flexibility. Current internal reformer catalyst uses a significant amount of water (or oxygen) in the fuel stream to eliminate carbon coking issue. Lynntech proposes an advanced anode catalysis concept for DM-SOFC that is free of carbon coking without the use of water (or oxygen) in the fuel stream. Preliminary results with Lynntech's advanced anode catalysis concept using 100% dry hydrocarbon fuels demonstrated similar power densities to direct internal reforming technology. In Phase I, Lynntech will further optimize the anode electrocatalyst component and architecture, demonstrate the performance improvements and durability with single cells running on dry methane, and built and operate a bipolar short stack. In Phase II, Lynntech will built a bipolar 3-kW DM-SOFC stack and integrate all of the balance of plant component, demonstrate its performance and durability with improved thermal cycling (using dry methane), and deliver it to NASA for further testing. More »

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