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University: University of St Andrews
Sector(s): Energy & Renewables
The state of the art anode material used in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells is the Ni/YSZ ceramic-metal (cermet) composite (where YSZ = Y2O3/ZrO2) which has several difficulties in use. The anode is prepared as NiO/YSZ, and must be reduced to Ni/YSZ to work: this entails a large volumetric shrinkage, which can cause the cells to crack. Ni is a good catalyst for cracking hydrocarbon fuels, but tends to produce solid carbon, which then blocks the electrode, lowering performance and effective working life. The metallic Ni phase is also mobile and tends to sinter over time, again lowering performance.
Our technology overcomes these problems while achieving a comparable electrochemical performance, electrical and catalytic properties (significantly better when used with methane fuel). The new perovskite anode shows better tolerance to hydrocarbon fuels, without depositing carbon on the electrode. The perovskite anode can withstand more repeated cycling than a Ni/YSZ anode.
The University of St Andrews has applied for UK and PCT patent protection for this novel material and continues to perform R&D in advanced materials for fuel cells. The University is looking for a licensee to the patent application and knowhow or a commercial collaborator to take it to market.Patent Numbers:…UK Application Number 0217794.7; PCT Application Number PCT/GB2003/003344, nationalised in EPO as 03766465.3 and US as 10/523,093 and to be nationalised in Japan, PR China, Canada and AustraliaAdditional information will be made available under a confidentiality agreement.
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