Physical sciences, Earth sciences

Fuel cell technology improved

Researchers have taken the first steps towards a new generation of fuel cell that is more stable and durable than its predecessors

Increased greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with the rising price of fuel, have made alternative fuel cell technology very attractive in recent years. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are potentially clean and highly efficient sources of energy, but are still expensive and unreliable.

The EU-funded EVOLVE project set out to address this problem by re-engineering the anode to be more reliable and efficient.

Thus far, EVOLVE has completed a technological strategy for the design and testing of new SOFC anodes. Several metals and other evolved materials have already been developed and tested.

Researchers have also produced and trialled an early prototype of the SOFC anode, using a metal foam formed from a nickel–chrome–aluminium alloy. Initial testing of the prototype has revealed stable behaviour at high temperatures.

EVOLVE will now focus on building a full SOFC prototype using the new anode, and will eventually scale this up to pre-industrial testing. The project is on course to yield a more robust and reliable SOFC in the near future.

Source: © European Union, CORDIS, www.cordis.europa.eu
last modification: 2015-03-04 15:45:09