PerspectiveCHEMICAL ENGINEERING

Cooling down ceramic fuel cells

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  18 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6254, pp. 1290
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad0432

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

Ceramic fuel cells capable of achieving high power densities are based on oxygen-ion conductors that operate at high temperatures. The development of ceramic fuel cells that exhibit practical power densities at lower temperatures, with proton-conducting electrolytes, has been a long-standing dream, whose realization could lead to large-scale implementation of fuel cells. On page 1321 of this issue Duan et al. (1) report on three important contributions in the development of protonic ceramic fuel cells (PCFCs): the demonstration of the effective use of sintering aids to make difficult-to-prepare electrolytes that exhibit high protonic conductivities; the design of a new cathode material for PCFCs; and the development of a scalable fabrication process for cell production. Impressive performance was obtained with small-scale PCFCs at moderate temperatures. Taken together with other reports of high performance in PCFCs (2), practical ceramic fuel cells could be within reach.