Advanced Manufacturing of Intermediate Temperature, Direct Methane Oxidation Membrane Electrode Assemblies for Durable Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX13CC38P
Agency Tracking Number: 124241
Amount: $124,962.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: H8.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
8130 Shaffer Parkway, Littleton, CO, 80127-4107
DUNS: 040245305
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Thoen
 Fuel Cells Scientist
 (303) 285-5113
Business Contact
 Neelesh Ullal
Title: Director, Business Operations
Phone: (303) 285-5140
Research Institution
ITN proposes to create an innovative anode supported membrane electrode assembly (MEA) for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) that is capable of long-term operation at low temperature by the direct oxidation of dry methane or syngas fuel without coke formation on the anode. ITN's MEA is more efficient, durable, reliable, versatile and economical than the state of the art because it is made with transformative manufacturing techniques?microwave sintering and energy optimized plasma deposition (EOPD). The proposed fuel-flexible, direct oxidation MEA is capable of power densities up to 2 W/cm2 at 600?C. ITN's EOPD of thin, conformal YSZ electrolytes creates a stress free interface between the anode and electrolyte which improves MEA durability, cycle-ability and cell performance. The MEAs produced in this research effort can be incorporated into SOFC stacks capable of producing power in the 1-3 kW range. Because the fuel is oxidized directly in the SOFC, without external fuel processing, the thermodynamic efficiencies from fuel source to DC output exceed 70%. Higher efficiencies translate to minimal cooling required as obtained by way of conduction through the stack to a radiator exposed to space and/or by anode exhaust flow.

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

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