Caltech Researchers Make Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Breakthrough

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For several years now the Department of Energy (DOE) has been urging the fuel cell community to solve a major problem in the design of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs): heat. Sossina Haile, an associate professor of materials science and chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, is an expert in fuel cells, and she has been whittling away at the heat problem for years. Now she and her colleagues have not only solved the problem, they’ve smashed it. They’ve brought the temperature down to about 600 degrees Celsius (1100 degrees Fahrenheit), while achieving more power output than others are achieving at the higher temperaturesabout 1 watt per square centimeter of fuel cell area. [ more ]