Interconnected, 3-Dimensional Fuel Cell Design Prepared by Direct-Ink-Writing

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Interconnected, 3-Dimensional Fuel Cell Design Prepared by Direct-Ink-Writing
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Inventors
Professor Harry Tuller
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
External Link (dmse.mit.edu)
Kathy Sahner
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
Managed By
Jim Freedman
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Chemicals, Instruments, Consumer Products
Patent Protection

Interconnected, 3-dimensional fuel cell design

US Patent 7,727,650

Applications

Fabrication methods to increase efficiency and decrease losses in electrochemical fuel cells.

Problem Addressed

Low volumetric efficiency, difficult assembly and high losses in conventional fuel cell design.

Technology

The invention describes a novel fuel cell design that uses a combined Direct-Ink-Writing (DIW)-CVD process forming an interconnected, 3-dimentional network to potentially overcome the limitations of the conventional tubular design, namely its low volumetric efficiency, difficult assembly and high losses. Each tube in the multi-tube SOFC device is prepared by layer-by-layer deposition of polymer precursor, mixed electronic-ionic conducting (MIEC) cathode material, solid electrolyte material, and cermet anode layer. A calcination step for polymer removal is performed, followed by gas supply of air and fuel to the respective electrodes.

Advantages

  • Enhanced surface-to-volume ratio
  • Single manufacturing step
  • Interconnected tube network is created in-situ
  • Minimum losses in the electrolyte