Paper Authors on Tour - Raymond J. Gorte

"Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Operating Directly on Liquid Fuels"

R. J. Gorte
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Solid oxide fuel cells are attractive for Auxiliary Power Units because they offer the possibility of very high efficiencies. One of the major hurdles preventing their implementation for a wide variety of applications is the fact that, until recently, only H2 or syngas could be used as the fuel. We have recently demonstrated that stable power generation, without either internal or external reforming, can be achieved through the direct oxidation of hydrocarbons, including liquids, using a solid-oxide fuel cell (S. Park, J. M. Vohs, and R. J. Gorte, Nature, 404 (2000) 265). The anodes in these direct-oxidation SOFCs were composites made of Cu, ceria, and yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ). In this talk, the methods for preparing these anodes will be described. Recent developments on the use of various liquid fuels will be presented. Finally, possibilities for commercialization will be discussed.