Alumina Substrate Supported Microtubular Solid Oxide Cells


Reference #1275


The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a novel microtubular solid oxide fuel cell technology.



Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are energy conversion devices which convert the chemical energy of fuels and oxidants directly into electrical energy in an environmentally benign and highly efficient manner. The basic structure of an SOFC is a tri-layer assembly, in which the dense electrolyte is sandwiched by porous anode and cathode electrodes on either side. Since the resistance of electrolyte is proportional to its thickness, thin film electrolyte is usually employed in SOFC design to reduce ohmic losses. This in turn leads to electrode supported SOFC design, where a relatively thick electrode is used to provide mechanical strength for the entire cell.


In open literature, metal-supported SOFCs have been studied to improve mechanical strength and redox tolerance as well as thermal cycling capability. The materials used for metal support include Ni, FeNi, FeCr, NiCrAlY and ferritic stainless steel. The total material cost of anode-supported SOFC unit cell is largely dominated by the cost of anode-electrode. If the anode-electrode could be fabricated using none-rare-earth materials, it may significantly reduce the SOFC cost. If alumina is employed as an anode substrate material, it could also significantly improve the robustness, reliability and endurance of SOFCs. The planar and tubular design are two kinds of classic SOFC designs. Micro-tubular SOFCs may provide significant advantages over classic designs, and therefore have attracted increasing attentions in recent years.


Invention Description:

This invention is a novel microtubular solid oxide fuel cell technology. The novel design is able to significantly reduce the cost of the cell while achieving high performance, robustness, reliability, and endurance for highly efficient clean energy conversion.


Potential Applications:

There are a wide range of both stationary and portable applications for this device involving highly efficient and environmentally benign energy conversion.


Advantages and Benefits:

The central challenge of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology lies in how to achieve sufficient robustness and reliability while significantly reducing system and operating costs, and this invention is able to significantly reduce the cost of the cell while achieving high performance and reliability.


Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Alumina Substrate Supported Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Utility United States 16/161,231 11,108,054 10/16/2018 8/31/2021   Issued
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Xingjian Xue
Chunlei Ren
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