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Surface Additives for Enhanced Electrode Performance

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing SummaryBerkeley Lab researchers Lutgard DeJonghe, Steven Visco, and Craig Jacobson have focused their attention on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and related technologies. Fuel cells "burn" hydrogen or hydrocarbons to produce electricity. They are highly fuel-efficient and almost non-polluting, making them an attractive alternative for energy generation. Some solid oxide fuel cells burn hydrocarbons by first converting them to hydrogen, while others burn them directly. The latter are the leading candidates for commercial applications. DescriptionThis invention allows the addition of highly reactive elements to the surface interface. These highly reactive electrode materials, known to be of value for enhancing catalytic properties of the cathode, are added where they are needed—at the surface—without sustaining the chemical reactions that occur when they are fired on. In this way, moderate performance cathodes, known to be chemically stable at firing temperatures, can be used for microstructure formation. High performance additives then can be incorporated into the electrodes without significantly altering the microstructure or creating performance-limiting reaction layers. Benefits
  • Enhanced catalytic properties of cathode
  • Highly fuel efficient
  • Almost nonpolluting
Applications and Industries
  • Gas separation
  • Fuel cells
  • Catalytic reactors
  • Other devices
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Date
Patent 6,682,842
Patent
6,682,842
Composite electrode/electrolyte structure
Provided is an electrode fabricated from highly electronically conductive materials such as metals, metal alloys, or electronically conductive ceramics. The electronic conductivity of the electrode substrate is maximized. Onto this electrode in the green state, a green ionic (e.g., electrolyte) film is deposited and the assembly is co-fired at a temperature suitable to fully densify the film while the substrate retains porosity. Subsequently, a catalytic material is added to the electrode structure by infiltration of a metal salt and subsequent low temperature firing. The invention allows for an electrode with high electronic conductivity and sufficient catalytic activity to achieve high power density in ionic (electrochemical) devices such as fuel cells and electrolytic gas separation systems.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 01/27/2004
Issued
Patent 6,846,511
Patent
6,846,511
Method of making a layered composite electrode/electrolyte
An electrode/electrolyte structure is prepared by a plurality of methods. An unsintered (possibly bisque fired) moderately catalytic electronically-conductive or homogeneous mixed ionic electronic conductive electrode material is deposited on a layer composed of a sintered or unsintered ionically-conductive electrolyte material prior to being sintered. A layer of particulate electrode material is deposited on an unsintered ("green") layer of electrolyte material and the electrode and electrolyte layers are sintered simultaneously, sometimes referred to as "co-firing," under conditions suitable to fully densify the electrolyte while the electrode retains porosity. Or, the layer of particulate electrode material is deposited on a previously sintered layer of electrolyte, and then sintered. Subsequently, a catalytic material is added to the electrode structure by infiltration of an electrolcatalyst precursor (e.g., a metal salt such as a transition metal nitrate). This may be followed by low temperature firing to convert the precursor to catalyst. The invention allows for an electrode with high electronic conductivity and sufficient catalytic activity to achieve high power density in an ionic (electrochemical) device such as fuel cells and electrolytic gas separation systems.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 01/25/2005
Issued
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
IB-1406DevelopmentAvailable - Available for licensing for fuel cells (both fixed and portable), sensors, gas preparation and separation, and other applications, with the following limitations: only non-exclusive rights are available within the field of use of preparation of industrial gases; only non-exclusive rights are available within the field of use of solid oxide fuel cells with electrical power output between 0.5kW and 40kW that are designed for installation as a permanent fixture in residential buildings and small commercial business facilities.06/21/201007/28/2010

Contact LBL About This Technology

To: Shanshan Li<ipo@lbl.gov>