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Date: 14-08-13

Researchers try out efficient and robust energy source using solid fuel cells

The researchers at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Georgia Institute of Technology, and Dong-Eui University have developed fuel cell technology based on solid oxide fuel cells which uses oxide ion conducting electrolytes. The SOFC technology is less costly due to lower material cost, less sensitive to impurities in the fuel, and also offer higher efficiency. Researchers claim to have achieved outstanding performance and robust reliability at intermediate temperature range.

The paper on the subject is already published in Scientific Reports with the title named "Highly Efficient and robust cathode materials for low-temperature solid fuel cells: PrBa0.5Sr0.5Co2-xFexO5+δ."

The advantage of making fuel cells to work in the Intermediate temperature range is, they can use less expensive cathode, anode and electrolyte materials. The choice of materials for the fuel cell components is wider. But the problem with low operating temperature is the efficiency drops mainly due to cathode material. This creates the need of highly efficient cathode material for low temperature operating fuel cells.
The researchers have tried out co-doped Sr and Fe, this optimised Composition features good oxygen reduction reaction. The pore channels of the structure has enhanced oxygen ion diffusion and surface oxygen exchange by also 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.”

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

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