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Projects

Projects

Smart Materials for Electrochemical Cells operating at Intermediate Temperatures

Period
2019 - 2021
Financing organization
BAS-C.N.R
Project Summary

The proposed topic covers today’s challenges answering the demands for the development of solutions for accelerated decarbonization with increased efficiency applying innovative approaches by developing smart materials that overcome the existing degradation hurdles. Those materials will be integrated in the fuel electrode of SOC without changing the basic technological procedures which have reached a mature pre-commercial stage. They will be introduced as an anode coating with a promoting layer, which will be active towards catalytic conversion of the organic fuel without the need of water for the reforming process in the case of SOFC and active towards the conversion of H2 and CO to chemicals (methane) at intermediate temperatures in SOEL mode, thus ensuring carbon-neutral energy cycle. In addition the promoting layer will be more tolerant to sulphur contaminants and thermal cycles. The selected approach includes combination of bi- and tri- metallic alloys (Sn, Zn, Mo, Ti, Cu, Fe, Co) with doped ceria (cermets) and Ni modifying double-perovskite (Sr1.5La0.5FeMoO6 – LSFM) in order to improve the conversion of fuel to electricity and overall efficiency (SOFC) as well as the quality of the produced gas (chemicals instead of syngas) – direction in which the Italian partners have accumulated expertise.

The project results will pave the way for a common application in the programs of Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.

Project Results

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Project Partners

Institute of Electrochemistry and Energy Systems, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Institute for Advanced Energy Technologies (ITAE), Messina, Italy

Innovative Rechargeable Carbon-free Zinc-Air Cells (INOVI)

Period
2019 - 2021
Financing organization
NSF
Project Summary

The main objective of the project  is the development of an innovative design of rechargeable zinc-air cell with a carbon-free gas-diffusion electrode with increased lifecycle (number of cycles) for accumulation of energy from photovoltaics. The presence of carbon in the gas diffusion electrode is reported as the main factor for the low life cycle (low number of discharge / charge cycles) of the system, however, the research progress is still unsatisfactory. In this project two original and innovative ideas have been proposed as problem solving approaches: (1) development of a "monolithic" ceramic electrode based on oxide bifunctional catalysts (LSM, LSCF, etc.), adopted from solid oxide fuel cells. It is expected that the solid state ceramic electrode will ensure increased lifetime and will "tolerate" higher current densities; (2) replacement of the carbon-based material with zeolite having a highly developed nano-porous microstructure. Both approaches have not been used so far. For deeper insight into the catalysts degradation processes at atomic level, the neutron scattering technique will be introduced. The development of accelerated tests - an issue that is a serious hurdle to experimental battery development, will be also an important contribution. One of the challenges in battery diagnosis is to determine "state of health" and "life cycle". The introduction of the "Differential Resistance Analysis" methodology, based on a mathematical analysis of volt-ampere characteristics and currently developed in IEES for fuel cells, is expected to contribute in this direction as well.  The project implementation is planned to overcome Technological Readiness Levels 2 and 3. It will end with the development of a zinc-air cell laboratory prototype with an active area of 10 cm2, based on a carbon-free bifunctional gas diffusion electrode and an improved zinc electrode. This result will serve as a basis for further development of the system. It should be noted that there is a potential economic interest related to the production of zinc in Bulgaria.

Project Results

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Project Partners

Institute of Electrochemistry and Energy Systems, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Institute of electroncs, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences