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Oxide-based SOFC Anode Materials

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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Shown in green, the ceria-based anode materials provide excellent conductivity with resilience not offered in traditional metal oxides.
Shown in green, the ceria-based anode materials provide excellent conductivity with resilience not offered in traditional metal oxides.

Technology Marketing Summary

In a solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC), the anode facilitates the reaction between hydrogen, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon fuels with oxygen ions that permeate the electrolyte from the cathode side of the cell. An ideal anode should have high electrical conductivity and electro-catalytic activity, and further, it would be advantageous if the anode was tolerant to intermittent air exposure and sulfur-containing compounds in hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline, diesel and natural gas.


Researchers at PNNL have developed a new class of nickel-free anode materials, consisting of a composite of doped cerium oxide and doped strontium titanate. These materials show excellent electrical conductivity, an activity similar to nickel, and are tolerant to the presence of impurities in the fuel such as sulfur. The new class of materials is presently being engineered for use in large SOFC stacks.
The novel materials provide the positive attributes of metal electrodes like nickel with additional degradation characteristics. This combination of materials and characteristics provide for strong performance and longer life of the cell.

  • Less susceptible to contaminants such as sulfur
  • Oxidation tolerant during shut down cycles
  • Comparable to other anode materials in manufacturing cost and process
  • Provides for longer life due to the stability in the presence of contaminants.
Applications and Industries
  • Electricity generators
  • Auxiliary power sources
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,468,218
Composite solid oxide fuel cell anode based on ceria and strontium titanate
An anode and method of making the same wherein the anode consists of two separate phases, one consisting of a doped strontium titanate phase and one consisting of a doped cerium oxide phase. The strontium titanate phase consists of, where M is either yttrium (Y), scandium (Sc), or lanthanum (La), where "x" may vary typically from about 0.01 to about 0.5, and where .delta. is indicative of some degree of oxygen non-stoichiometry. A small quantity of cerium may also substitute for titanium in the strontium titanate lattice. The cerium oxide consists of, where N is either niobium (Nb), vanadium (V), antimony (Sb) or tantalum (Ta) and where "y" may vary typically from about 0.001 to about 0.1 and wherein the ratio of Ti in said first phase to the sum of Ce and N in the second phase is between about 0.2 to about 0.75. Small quantities of strontium, yttrium, and/or lanthanum may additionally substitute into the cerium oxide lattice. The combination of these two phases results in better performance than either phase used separately as an anode for solid oxide fuel cell or other electrochemical device.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 12/23/2008
Patent 7,670,711
Cerium-modified doped strontium titanate compositions for solid oxide fuel cell anodes and electrodes for other electrochemical devices
The present invention provides novel compositions that find advantageous use in making electrodes for electrochemical cells and electrochemical devices such as solid oxide fuel cells, electrolyzers, sensors, pumps and the like, the compositions comprising cerium-modified doped strontium titanate. The invention also provides novel methods for making and using anode material compositions and solid oxide fuel cells and solid oxide fuel cell assemblies having anodes comprising the compositions.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 03/02/2010
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
12776-E, 12773-E, 12774-EPrototype - Reduced to practiceAvailable - Available for licensing in all fields of use09/10/201009/10/2010

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To: Jennifer Hodas<>