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Researchers devise gasoline-fueled SOFC with high power density; potential for vehicles

10 July 2014

Researchers from Washington State University and Kyung Hee University in Korea have fabricated a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with a novel mixed conductivity MoO2-based anode that is fueled by direct feeding of premium gasoline without external reforming. In a paper in the Journal of Power Sources, they suggest that the results of their study imply that an SOFC using a MoO2-based anode has potential for generating electrical power from gasoline for future hybrid electric vehicles.

They fabricated the MoO2-based anode via an electrospray process. Their fuel cell demonstrated a power density >3.0 W cm−2 at 0.6 V. Over 24 hours of operation, the open cell voltage remained stable at ∼0.9 V. At the cell voltage of 0.6 V, its current density dropped over the first 7 h to a value of ∼3.0 A cm−2, where it stayed for the remaining 17 h of the test with a minor fluctuation. Power density of ∼2.0 W cm−2 at 0.6 V was still measured after 24 h on stream with a continuous feed of gasoline.

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination of the anode surface pre- and post-testing showed no evidence of coking, which they said hints at the reason for the observed stability under the harsh cell operating conditions.

Resources

  • Xiaoxue Hou, Oscar Marin-Flores, Byeong Wan Kwon, Jinsoo Kim, M. Grant Norton, Su Ha (2014) “Gasoline-fueled solid oxide fuel cell with high power density,” Journal of Power Sources, Volume 268, Pages 546-549 doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2014.06.038

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Comments

Good news for fossil and bio liquid fuel suppliers and politicians supported by those groups.

They will certainly finance further development.

This could be better then my old 4 cylinders car because it integrate regenerative breaking at a fraction then an ice hybrid. Im ectaticly awaiting 2023 to change my current car and i have no clue of what will be available then but for now i will buy a used 2015 mazda 3 skyactiv but i hope there will be better choice. For now i drive my small dodge and i pay 1.43$ a liter for regular gasoline, this is misery, when it gonna end.

@ And Bri:

We managed to shave about $0.10/L by going to the appropriate places. Check (as required) for lowest prices on Internet.

I shaved another 40% by trading my old Camry for a new Hybrid Camry. Fully satisfied after 10,000+ Km. Could have done another 20% with a Prius III but I was used with Camrys.

Not so fast to abandon H2, AB! SOFC is real expensive and not as efficient as PEM FC. SOFC runs real hot so for short trips, energy is wasted to reheat it. SOFC is best used as range extender for PHEV-40-60 which can run at least 40-60 miles on battery, and only dependent on the SOFC for long trips, so only a small unit of SOFC of about 20-25 kW is needed.

However, a 80-90-kW 1-liter turbocharged engine like Ford's or GM's is a lot more practical for PHEV because the motor and inverter can be reduced to 1/2 size when the engine can contribute 1/2 of the torque and power, and engine is a lot cheaper than SOFC and motor-inverter per kW.

SOFC is more efficient than PEM, not less, and runs at comparable or lower temperatures than a combustion engine.

That comment puts the energy wast to heat recycling in perspective, thanks DM. However there are still the reliability issues caused by the heat cycling. So a good early application would not be a car but the APU of the plane as suggested here on GCC last month, or a long haul truck's main power unit.

Yeah, I'm not rushing out to invest heavily in SOFC for cars either!

It is going to take a bit of doing.

Hey, it's all good.  Before they can make one that will stand up to automotive punishment, they'll have one that will do 50,000 hours ramping at 10%/hour.  That will replace the gas furnace and water heater with a hybrid gas/electric heat pump and heat battery system at easily double the efficiency.  That will make a huge difference.

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