Scientists at the Russian University “Vyatka” have developed a complete technological cycle for the production of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and selected active materials for their synthesis.
According to scientists, the results of their study will be required when creating a new generation of Russian power plants.
Researchers at Vyatka University believe that in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, it is necessary to achieve a transition to “green energy”. This is one of the most important tasks defined in the energy strategy of Russia until 2035.
University scientists are working on the creation of highly efficient and environmentally friendly sources of electricity based on solid oxide fuel cells, which are a multilayer structure consisting of ceramic and composite materials.
Anton Kozmi, head of the Department of Technology of Inorganic Materials and Electrochemical Production at Vyatka University, said: “We have developed a set of technological methods and processes necessary to form a single fuel cell, power and fuel utilization factor.
At the first stage, scientists obtain porous cermet tubes that act as anodes (negative electrodes). Thin layers of electrolyte and electrode materials are applied to the prepared substrates by dipping them into compositions specially selected for this purpose. After applying each layer, a multi-stage heat treatment process is carried out.
According to the researchers, there are 6 layers of this type, each of which performs its own function. Scientists can modify various characteristics of the layers, such as material composition, powder size, suspension viscosity, and temperature, to achieve optimum operating parameters. This technology allows the use of a single fuel cell that uses maximum energy.
Experts say that new materials for electrodes have been obtained. For example, composite materials for the anode layer have a resistivity half that of standard commercial products. This will allow in the future to increase the size of a single fuel cell and reduce losses during its replacement.
Researchers believe that the most difficult task is the transition from individual samples to finished prototypes of industrial products. The scientific team of the university is now working on finding technical solutions that make it possible to apply the technology in industrial production, including from the point of view of economic feasibility.
It is noteworthy that work on the development of SOFC energy sources and fuel cells is being carried out at the Vyatka Provincial University as part of the Ecology project of the Priority 2030 Strategic Academic Leadership Program.