Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathode Enhancement Through a Vacuum-Assisted Infiltration Technique

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-11ER90108
Agency Tracking Number: 96837
Amount: $1,000,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: 21 c
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000676
Small Business Information
UT, Salt Lake City, UT, 84104-4403
DUNS: 858801483
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Greg Tao
 (801) 530-4987
Business Contact
 Anthony Decheek
Title: Mr.
Phone: (801) 530-4987
Research Institution
SOFC technology promises to provide an efficient method by which electricity can be generated from coal-derived syngas, biofuels, and natural gas, while increasing energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The large capital costs attributed to the cathode low performance and long-term stability issues are a current limitation of SOFC technologies that must be addressed before commercial SOFC power generation can be realized. The typical SOFC composite cathode possesses excellent performance characteristics but is subject to chemical stability issues during manufacturing and power generation operation at elevated temperatures. The proposed work aims to develop a vacuum-assisted infiltration technique to improve SOFC cathode performance and longevity through the impregnation of an inexpensive electrocatalyst precursor(s) into a cathode backbone. The vacuum-assisted infiltration apparatus and the infiltration protocol were developed and validated on both button cells and short stacks having 100 cm2 per-cell active areas. Catalyst distribution and morphology were investigated via the advanced X-ray diffraction and radiographic techniques. Phase II efforts will be built-on the results of Phase I and improve the vacuum-assisted infiltration process and protocol. Proof-of-concept demonstration of the SOFC cathode performance improvement will be performed on a bench scale kW-class stack. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The proposed technique will lead to the development of a viable solution to improve SOFC performance and longevity at a cost-effective manner. Some noteworthy benefits of the proposed technique are: (1) the technique readily scale to implementation in mass production operations; (2) enables SOFC technology fast market adoption and penetration via capital cost reduction; (3) reduces the green-house- gas emission and (4) US dependence on foreign energy imports through the large scale implementation of the improved SOFC technology

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government