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Improved Cathode Contact Materials for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

IB-2933

APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:

ADVANTAGES:

ABSTRACT:

A Berkeley Lab team of scientists led by Michael Tucker has taken a significant step towards making solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) commercially viable with the development of an improved material for bonding critical components in the layered structure of these fuel cells.

The stainless steel interconnect that brings oxygen to the cathode of a SOFC is a critical feature of these devices. However, attaching the interconnect to the cathode has been a challenge for fuel cell designers because the high temperatures required (1,200°C – 1,400°C) to sinter ceramic binding agents properly would release chromium and oxidize the steel. Consequently, lower temperatures are used, which produces a suboptimal bond and reduced electric conductivity between the cathode and interconnect.

The Berkeley Lab technology solves the interconnect/cathode bonding problem using mixtures of commercially available high-temperature adhesives and glass particles that melt below 1,000°C. The resulting composites form strong bonds and are sufficiently sintered to provide the desired electro-conductivity. For performance data, go here. Variations in adhesive materials, glasses, and proportions produce measurably different results and can be tailored to the requirements of fuel cell designers.

DEVELOPMENT STAGE:  Bench-scale prototype.

STATUS: Patent pending.  Available for licensing or collaborative research.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Ceramic Paste Technology (handout)

Tucker, M.C., Cheng, L., DeJonghe, L.C. “Glass-containing composite cathode contact materials for solid oxide fuel cells,” Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 196:20, October 15, 2011, pp. 8435-8443.

Tucker, M.C., Cheng, L., DeJonghe, L.C. "Inorganic binder-containing composite cathode contact materials for solid oxide fuel cells," Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 224, 2013, pp. 174-179.

SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:

Inventions for Advancing Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Commercialization, IB-1942, IB-2064, IB-2065, IB-2066, IB-2107, IB-2189, IB-2574

REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2933

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Last updated: 02/15/2013