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AU researchers to participate in solid-oxide fuel cell project
9/18/12

Two researchers in the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University will be collaborating on a federal Department of Energy project to improve the efficiency and durability of solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC).

Solid-oxide fuels cells are used as an auxiliary power source, but improved technology will make them viable for mainstream applications. They can convert various types of fuel to electrical energy for use in powering an electric car, as well providing heat and light for businesses and residences.

Scott Misture and Doreen Edwards, professors of materials science at the Inamori School of Engineering, will be working with colleagues from the University of Connecticut (Storrs) and the University of California-San Diego on the project, which will look at how and why lanthanum-manganite-based cathodes degrade when exposed to “real-world” atmospheric operating conditions.

Through experimentation and computational simulation, the researchers hope to develop more durable cathode materials, which will extend the operating life of the SOFC.

“Our expertise in ceramic materials, plus the unique array of  equipment we have in our High-Temperature Materials Characterization to measure properties and performance of materials at high temperatures, make Alfred University researchers an integral part of the this research initiative,” said Edwards, who is also the dean of the School of Engineering.

The work is funded by a $499,372 grant from the federal Department of Energy, plus $124,843 from the research partners. The work is to be completed in 24 months.