E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
Berkeley Lab researchers Lutgard DeJonghe, Steven Visco, and Craig Jacobson have focused their attention on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and related technologies. Fuel cells "burn" hydrogen or hydrocarbons to produce electricity. They are highly fuel efficient and almost nonpolluting, making them an attractive alternative for energy generation. Some solid oxide fuel cells burn hydrocarbons by first converting them to hydrogen, while others burn them directly. The latter are the leading candidates for commercial applications.
Electrochemical devices based on ceramic electrodes and electrolytes are becoming increasingly important for energy generation, oxygen separation, coal gasification, and selective oxidation of hydrocarbons. Much of the cost of manufacturing these devices is in the raw materials. This innovation provides a means of reducing the materials costs and increasing the reliability of such devices. Using a novel support structure, Berkeley Lab's new device provides electrical conductivity, strength, and increased reliability, while allowing the use of very thin (5-20 µm) layers of electrodes and/or electrolyte. This invention should allow economical production of devices previously too expensive to commercialize.
- U.S. Patent #6,605,316, U.S. Patent #6,979,511, and US Patent #7,351,488
- Available for licensing for fuel cells (both fixed and portable), sensors, gas preparation and separation, and other applications, with the following limitations: only non-exclusive rights are available within the field of use of preparation of industrial gases; only non-exclusive rights are available within the field of use of solid oxide fuel cells with electrical power output between 0.5kW and 40kW that are designed for installation as a permanent fixture in residential buildings and small commercial business facilities.
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-1418
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
- Fail-Safe, Inexpensive Electrochemical Device Stack Design, IB-1658A
- High Quality, Dense Thin Films Using Metal/Metal Alloy Additives, IB-1654
- Improved Electrode-Electrode Structures for Solid State Electrochemical Device, IB-1405
- Inexpensive Production of High Density Thin Ceramic Films on Rigid or Porous Substrates, IB-1302
- Low Cost Fabrication of Thin-Film Ceramic Membranes for Nonshrinking Substrates, IB-1304
- Metal Current Collector Protected by Oxide Film, IB-1656
- Method for Making Flat, High Performance Thin Membrane Structures on Porous Substances, IB-1305
- Support for Planar Solid State Electrochemical Devices, IB-1790
- Surface Additives for Enhanced Electrode Performance, IB-1406