Direct Hydrocarbon Fuel Cells

Scott Barnett (Inventor)

Research output: Patent

Abstract

Direct Hydrocarbon Fuel Cells NU 2000-063 Inventor Scott A. Barnett Tammy Lai Jiang Liu Short Description New design and method for fabrication of a hydrocarbon fuel cell that accomplishes direct oxidation of fuels without carbon deposition #energy #fuel cell #alternative Abstract Northwestern researchers have devised a new fuel cell construct that combines the advantages of tubular and planar stack designs. The ISOFC is well suited for hydrogen or direct hydrocarbon oxidation. Present day tubular cell stack designs minimize seal and manifold problems but have poor cell-volume efficiency and can exhibit significant ohmic losses. Planar cell stack configurations provide greater power/volume ratios but are mechanically less robust and require excellent seals. The ISOFC of this invention incorporates the advantages of both designs in a stack fuel cell with (1) a mechanically durable support that is not part of the electrical system, (2) no separate interconnects and less seals, (3) flatten tube cell seal-less design having high power/volume ratios, (4) reduced electrical losses and (5) greater overall stack performance. The ISOFC incorporates an improved partially stabilized zirconia (PSZ) support composition exhibiting excellent porosity, mechanical properties and low leakage current, improved anode and cathode compositions, and simple screen printing patterning fabrication. A demonstration four cell ISOFC unit has been constructed and successfully operated at 700°C employing air and humidified hydrogen fuel. Processing and materials optimizations to utilize hydrocarbon fuels have been accomplished. Applications o Clean energy Advantages o Simplified but robust assembly o Fewer seals o Reduced electrical losses o Optimal mechanical properties o Greater overall cell-volume efficiency o Straightforward fabrication process o Scalable unit manufacturing Publications IP Status Issued US patents 6,479,178 and 7,709,124. International patent application has been filed. Marketing Contact Arjan Quist, PhD Invention Associate (p) 847-467-0305 (e) arjan.quist@northwestern.edu
Original languageEnglish
Patent number7709124
StatePublished - May 4 2010

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