Solid Electrolyte Materials, Devices, and Applications

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This paper outlines the development status, issues, and applications of several solid electrolyte electrochemical devices currently being developed by Ceramatec and its partners. Ceramatec and its commercial partner Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., (APCI) have successfully developed and demonstrated an electrochemical device that utilizes a ceria-based, solid electrolyte to separate oxygen from air [1, 2]. Other oxygen separator projects utilize ion transport membrane(s) (ITM) composed of mixed ionic and electronic conductors to transport oxygen ions across the membrane by means of a pressure differential driving force to generate high purity oxygen or a chemical reaction driving force to produce synthesis gas from methane (ITM Syngas).

Ceramatec, in partnership with SOFCo, demonstrated kilowatt class solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stacks operating on a variety of fuels such as pipeline natural gas and reformed diesel. Ceramatec is presently working with Cummins and SOFCo to develop low cost modular fuel cells under the Department of Energy's Solid-state Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) initiative. Some of Ceramatec's other programs are focused on development of gallate electrolyte based fuel cells [3] and metallic bipolar plates [4] for lower temperature operation.

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