As I told you in my first post, I’m working as a trainee engineer in a laboratory working on fuel cells. The laboratory works until a long long time ago on fuel cells, and try to invent new types of fuel cell to increase their performances. The team localized a big limiting factor of fuel cell: water formation to the electrodes. Indeed, electrodes are the places of interactions between the material, the gas and the current collector. The formation of water takes a lot of place into the electrolyte, and inhibits the following reactions. This is a real problem for SOFC and PCFC, which kind of cells work at high temperature, and the presence of water creates a high corrosive atmosphere for current collectors.
By identifying those issues, the Centre des Matériaux proposed an innovative concept using a central membrane with double conduction: anionic O2- and protonic H+. This way, water formation will take place in the center of the cell, and will let the electrodes (anode and cathode) free from water !
After only 3 years of optimization, the performances increased as well as the performances of a SOFC in 30 years! Isn’t an optimistic project?