Fuel cell innovation by Korean researchers

August 13, 2013

Research team of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Georgia Institute of Technology, and Dong-Eui University developed a novel cathode material which has outstanding performance and robust reliability even at the intermediate temperature range.

This research was published in Scientific Reports on August 13. (Title: Highly Efficient and robust cathode materials for low-temperature solid fuel cells: PrBa0.5Sr0.5Co2-xFexO5+δ )

As high power density devices, fuel cells can convert chemical energy directly into electric power very efficiently and environmentally friendly. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), based on an oxide ion conducting electrolyte, have several advantages over other types of fuel cells, including relatively inexpensive material costs, low sensitivity to impurities in the fuel, and high overall efficiency.

To make SOFC technology more affordable, the operating temperature must be further reduced so that substantially less expensive materials may be used for the cell components. Also there will be more choices of materials for other components with lower operating temperature.

However, at the low operating temperature, the problem is that the efficiency drop by the cathode is especially dramatic than the one due to the anode and/or electrolyte. It means that the cathode, as a key component of SOFC, contributes the most to the polarization loss during intermediate temperature operation. As a result, the development of feasible low temperature SOFCs requires the generation of highly efficient cathode materials.,

A UNIST research team tried to co-dope Sr and Fe and succeeded in yielding remarkable out-performance to present materials at lower operating temperature. The optimized composition has facilitated excellent oxygen reduction reaction and the novel structure has created pore channels that dramatically enhance oxygen ion diffusion and surface oxygen exchange while maintaining excellent compatibility and stability under operating conditions.

"The hardest part of this research was finding optimum composition of Sr and Fe for the best performance and robustness," said Prof. Kim. "Previously various researches trying to dope Sr to perovskite structure had been made by many other groups. But none of them was successful for the better performance at the low operating temperature."

The new material developed by the UNIST research team led by Prof. Guntae Kim, could be used at significantly low temperature SOFC with higher efficiency and solid reliability than the previously reported materials.

This new novel cathode material enables the fuel cell designers have more flexible choices on the materials of fuel cell components, which leads to the lower fuel cell cost and, finally, to the step closer to the highly efficient and reliable fuel cells.
This research was supported by World Class University (WCU) program and Mid-career Researcher Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the New & Renewable Energy of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning grant funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

Homepage of Guntae Kim http://gunslab.unist.ac.kr/

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology(UNIST)

Related Fuel Cells Articles from Brightsurf:

Fuel cells for hydrogen vehicles are becoming longer lasting
An international research team led by the University of Bern has succeeded in developing an electrocatalyst for hydrogen fuel cells which, in contrast to the catalysts commonly used today, does not require a carbon carrier and is therefore much more stable.

Scientists develop new material for longer-lasting fuel cells
New research suggests that graphene -- made in a specific way -- could be used to make more durable hydrogen fuel cells for cars

AI could help improve performance of lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells
Imperial College London researchers have demonstrated how machine learning could help design lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells with better performance.

Engineers develop new fuel cells with twice the operating voltage as hydrogen
Engineers at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St.

Iodide salts stabilise biocatalysts for fuel cells
Contrary to theoretical predictions, oxygen inactivates biocatalysts for energy conversion within a short time, even under a protective film.

Instant hydrogen production for powering fuel cells
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing and Tsinghua University, Beijing investigate real-time, on-demand hydrogen generation for use in fuel cells, which are a quiet and clean form of energy.

Ammonia for fuel cells
Researchers at the University of Delaware have identified ammonia as a source for engineering fuel cells that can provide a cheap and powerful source for fueling cars, trucks and buses with a reduced carbon footprint.

Microorganisms build the best fuel efficient hydrogen cells
With billions of years of practice, nature has created the most energy efficient machines.

Atomically precise models improve understanding of fuel cells
Simulations from researchers in Japan provide new insights into the reactions occurring in solid-oxide fuel cells by using realistic atomic-scale models of the electrode active site based on microscope observations instead of the simplified and idealized atomic structures employed in previous studies.

New core-shell catalyst for ethanol fuel cells
Scientists at Brookhaven Lab and the University of Arkansas have developed a highly efficient catalyst for extracting electrical energy from ethanol, an easy-to-store liquid fuel that can be generated from renewable resources.

Read More: Fuel Cells News and Fuel Cells Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.