Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

New SOFC materials and technology

The project aimed to develop improved ceramic anodes, cathodes and electro-lytes for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), enabling them to operate at lower temperatures (600-850 C) than usual electrode materials and thus at lower overall capital and operating cost. This would allow SOFC to become a more competitive power generation technology than it currently is.

The development of efficient SOFC is beneficial for industrial and utility applications, as high operating temperatures make it unnecessary to utilise expensive catalysts and allows direct processing of the fuel into electricity. However, the long-term operation of a fuel cell in the 1000 C temperature range coupled with the start-stop nature of the temperature cycles has its disadvantages. First, this process is very demanding for the active and passive materials of the cell. Second, the high quality steels needed to cope with these temperatures do not exist. In order for SOFC power plants to be competitive against conventional ones, they must become cheaper. Improved materials must therefore be developed if SOFC are to become a successful and viable technology. The main objective of the project was therefore to develop improved electrode materials which can operate well at much lower temperatures. A secondary objective was to make the SOFC into an electrochemical reactor, in which methane can be partially oxidised to valuable chemicals like C2 H4 .

Reported by

Risø National Laboratory
Building 228, Frederiksborgevej 399
4000 Roskilde
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