Tolerant Anode Formulations for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

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Method of dry reforming a reactant gas with intermetallic catalyst
Professor Jackie Ying
Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
Steven Weiss
Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
Managed By
Jim Freedman
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Chemicals, Instruments, Consumer Products
Patent Protection

Method of dry reforming a reactant gas with intermetallic catalyst

US Patent 8,173,010


Enhanced anode design for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems.

Problem Addressed

Addresses the issue of coking at elevated temperatures in the absence of steam for simpler SOFC designs.


This invention is an anode system that improves coke tolerance over the traditional nickel yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) Ni/YSZ cermet and the alternative Cu/ceria cermet. The anode that was developed is an alloy-based cermet, and an alloy of Ni-Sn was used with YSZ instead of Ni. It has comparable performance to the Cu/ceria system (210 mW/cm2 on hydrogen and 140 mW/cm2 on methane at 800o C). Moreover, it can be fabricated using traditional ceramic processing techniques (instead of sputtering, chemical vapor deposition, impregnation, or thermal spraying), and uses much higher metal loadings (40 volume %).


  • Allows for fabrication of anode-supported SOFC
  • Able to control thermal gradients from internal reforming
  • Capable of generating high power densities for chemical and mechanical compatibility
  • Enhances sulfur tolerance