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A thermally self-sustained micro solid-oxide fuel-cell stack with high power density

Shao, Zongping and Haile, Sossina M. and Ahn, Jeongmin and Ronney, Paul D. and Zhan, Zhonglian and Barnett, Scott A. (2005) A thermally self-sustained micro solid-oxide fuel-cell stack with high power density. Nature, 435 (7043). pp. 170-173. ISSN 0028-0836.

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High energy efficiency and energy density, together with rapid refuelling capability, render fuel cells highly attractive for portable power generation. Accordingly, polymer-electrolyte direct-methanol fuel cells are of increasing interest as possible alternatives to Li ion batteries. However, such fuel cells face several design challenges and cannot operate with hydrocarbon fuels of higher energy density. Solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) enable direct use of higher hydrocarbons, but have not been seriously considered for portable applications because of thermal management difficulties at small scales, slow start-up and poor thermal cyclability. Here we demonstrate a thermally self-sustaining micro-SOFC stack with high power output and rapid start-up by using single chamber operation on propane fuel. The catalytic oxidation reactions supply sufficient thermal energy to maintain the fuel cells at 500–600 °C. A power output of ~350 mW (at 1.0 V) was obtained from a device with a total cathode area of only 1.42 cm^2.

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Additional Information:© 2005 Nature Publishing Group. Received 24 November 2004; Accepted 23 March 2005. We thank D. Goodwin and Y. Hao of Caltech for discussions. This work is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Microsystems Technology Office. Additional support has been provided by the National Science Foundation through the Caltech Center for the Science and Engineering of Materials. Competing interests statement: The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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ID Code:42472
Deposited By: Jonathan Gross
Deposited On:15 Nov 2013 00:58
Last Modified:15 Nov 2013 00:58

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