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Bio-Ethanol Fueled SOFC System

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
NexTech Materials, Ltd.
404 Enterprise Dr. Lewis Center, OH 43035-9423
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Bio-Ethanol Fueled SOFC System
Agency: USDA
Contract: 2007-33610-18009
Award Amount: $80,000.00


This proposal directly supports development of alternative and renewable energy. Specifically, this project involves development and demonstration of a simplified method for operating solid oxide fuel cells directly on bio-ethanol. Renewable bio-fuels, such as ethanol, present significant advantages for next generation power systems, such as fuel cells; they are carbon-neutral, they are energy dense in contrast to gaseous fuels such as hydrogen, and they have simple chemical structures that lend themselves to simple utilization. Fuel cells efficiently and cleanly generate power from hydrocarbons, producing electrical energy by electrochemical oxidation of a fuel. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) offer a particularly attractive opportunity for high-efficiency power generation from biofuels, because the bio-ethanol does not have to be completely refined and does not need to be completely converted to hydrogen before being used as fuel. Furthermore, the use of biofuels avoids system complexities and pollution related to sulfur impurities that are present in fossil fuels. In Phase I of this project, steam reforming catalysts will be developed that meet specific requirements for use with solid oxide fuel cells. In Phase II, the technology will be demonstrated in an SOFC stack operating on bio-ethanol fuel. The demonstration of renewable biofuels and solid-oxide environmentally responsible and efficient power generation will provide impetus for establishing a bio-ethanol infrastructure, leading to a new agricultural industry based on crop production and bio-fuel manufacturing. An ethanolfueled SOFC system would provide a renewable, high efficiency, low emissions power technology naturally suited to distributed generation in rural and remote locations.

Principal Investigator:

Paul Matter

Business Contact:

Andrew R. Patton
Contracts & Financial Specialist
Small Business Information at Submission:

NexTech Materials, Ltd.
404 Enterprise Drive Lewis Center, OH 43035

EIN/Tax ID: 311441978
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No