New manufacturing technologies have been developed for powders and components (electrodes, electrolytes, metallic bipolar plate) for upscaled, flat plate, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). With respect to powder manufacturing an upscaled, reproducible process for the cathode powder (lanthanum 0.85 strontium 0.15 manganese oxide) has been developed (ie spray drying of an aqueous solution of the required metal salts). For the anode powder, a suitable manufacturing method has been developed (nickel oxide slurry coating on a solid zirconia fraction), which needs to be further optimized. For the ceramic cell components, upscaled cells have successfully been manufactured with tape casting, using the above electrode powders and an 8 mol% yttrium oxide stabilized zirconia electrolyte. For the metal separator plate, upscaled components have been manufactured from a new alloy (CrFe5(Y2O3)1), of which the thermal expansion coefficient matches with the ceramics. Also new, cost effective manufacturing techniques for this alloy have been developed (electrochemical machining) and demonstrated for upscaled plates. A combination of the ceramic components with the metal separator plate was demonstrated in several 100 W class stacks.
Applications might include an integrated SOFC reactor for decentralized heat and power generation. For upscaled production, technology transfer to a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) is required.
The project will investigate reproducible manufacturing techniques for components (electrodes, electrolyte, metallic bipolar plate, gas manifolding) for upscaled, flat plate, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). For larger SOFC reactors (+- 1 Kw) these components are needed in greater quantities, with enlarged dimensions. New manufacturing techniques for SOFC powders and assembled SOFC composites are necessary.
-Techniques for powder preparation will be investigated for the fabrication of ceramic electrode materials. These techniques are available on laboratory scale, but are not state-of-the-art for the quantities (kg/day) needed for a sufficient homogeneity of larger quantities of ceramic components.
-For the ceramic components, manufacturing of surface-enlarged, thin, sintered electrolytes will be investigated using tape casting techniques. Reproducibility of the fabrication technique for larger quantities of sintered electrolytes will also be investigated.
-Coating techniques of the electrolyte with electrode materials will be investigated, which finally leads to reproducible fabrication of batches of ceramic composites.
-Given the boundary conditions of SOFC, new metal alloys with a coefficient of thermal expansion very close to that of the ceramic components will be investigated to come to a suitable metal/ceramic compound. In addition, manufacturing techniques for the bi-polar plate and joining techniques of electrolyte and electrodes with the metal are not state-of-the-art and will be investigated.
20097 Milano - San Donato Milanese