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Interfacial material for solid oxide fuel cell

United States Patent

5,993,989
November 30, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Solid oxide fuel cells having improved low-temperature operation are disclosed. In one embodiment, an interfacial layer of terbia-stabilized zirconia is located between the air electrode and electrolyte of the solid oxide fuel cell. The interfacial layer provides a barrier which controls interaction between the air electrode and electrolyte. The interfacial layer also reduces polarization loss through the reduction of the air electrode/electrolyte interfacial electrical resistance. In another embodiment, the solid oxide fuel cell comprises a scandia-stabilized zirconia electrolyte having high electrical conductivity. The scandia-stabilized zirconia electrolyte may be provided as a very thin layer in order to reduce resistance. The scandia-stabilized electrolyte is preferably used in combination with the terbia-stabilized interfacial layer. The solid oxide fuel cells are operable over wider temperature ranges and wider temperature gradients in comparison with conventional fuel cells.
Baozhen; Li (Essex Junction, VT), Ruka; Roswell J. (Pittsburgh, PA), Singhal; Subhash C. (Murrysville, PA)
Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation (Orlando, FL)
08/ 826,715
April 7, 1997
GOVERNMENT CONTRACT The United States government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-FC21-91MC28055 awarded by the United States Department of Energy.