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New Tigers in the Fuel Cell Tank

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Science  16 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5473, pp. 1955-1957
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5473.1955

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After decades of incremental advances, a spurt of findings suggests that fuel cells that run on good old fossil fuels are almost ready for prime time. Although conventional ceramic cells, known as solid oxide fuel cells, require expensive heat-resistant materials, a new generation of SOFCs, including one featured on page 2031, converts hydrocarbons directly into electricity at lower temperatures. And a recent demonstration of a system of standard SOFCs large enough to light up more than 200 homes showed that it is the most efficient large-scale electrical generator ever designed.