An Octane-Fueled Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

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Science  06 May 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5723, pp. 844-847
DOI: 10.1126/science.1109213

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There are substantial barriers to the introduction of hydrogen fuel cells for transportation, including the high cost of fuel-cell systems, the current lack of a hydrogen infrastructure, and the relatively low fuel efficiency when using hydrogen produced from hydrocarbons. Here, we describe a solid oxide fuel cell that combines a catalyst layer with a conventional anode, allowing internal reforming of iso-octane without coking and yielding stable power densities of 0.3 to 0.6 watts per square centimeter. This approach is potentially the basis of a simple low-cost system that can provide substantially higher fuel efficiency by using excess fuel-cell heat for the endothermic reforming reaction.

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