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Comment Processing & Handling

Fuel-cell anode

By Scott Jenkins |

A new anode material with nanostructured interfaces between barium oxide and nickel prevents deactivation by coking in solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) using carbon-containing fuels. The material offers a path to low-cost, low-emission SOFCs that can convert gasified carbon fuels to electricity at temperatures below 850°C, where SOFCs become more economically competitive. Led by scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta; www.gatech.edu) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, N.Y.; www.bnl.gov), the research team used vapor deposition technology to coat the surface of Ni-YSZ (yttria-stabilized zirconia)-based electrodes with BaO, which reduces to form nanoscale BaO islands on the Ni surface when exposed to fuel. The nanostructured surface layer adsorbs water and plays a vital role in facilitating carbon removal, making it possible for an SOFC containing the material to utilize higher-order hydrocarbons, CO and gasified carbon fuels without carbon buildup at relatively low temperatures, the group says.
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