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Westborough, MA, United States

Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2010

This SBIR Phase I project will develop a Liquid Tin Anode Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (LTA-SOFC) to generate energy from biomass. The LTA-SOFC is an advanced fuel cell that has improved efficiency of directly generating electrical power from fuels such as biomass, diesel, natural gas, and coal. This project will study the efficiency of an LTA-SOFC to produce electricity from biomass for long periods of time, and to increase the power from Kilo Watts to Mega Watts. The broader/commercial impact of this project will be the development of an efficient and cost effective electric power generating system based on the direct use of biomass. In addition, the LTA-SOFC will reduce carbon emissions.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2010

DOE has identified that a key technical challenge to the power industry is


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2010

This SBIR Phase I project will develop a Liquid Tin Anode Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (LTA-SOFC) to generate energy from biomass. The LTA-SOFC is an advanced fuel cell that has improved efficiency of directly generating electrical power from fuels such as biomass, diesel, natural gas, and coal. This project will study the efficiency of an LTA-SOFC to produce electricity from biomass for long periods of time, and to increase the power from Kilo Watts to Mega Watts.

The broader/commercial impact of this project will be the development of an efficient and cost effective electric power generating system based on the direct use of biomass. In addition, the LTA-SOFC will reduce carbon emissions.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SMALL BUSINESS PHASE II | Award Amount: 499.99K | Year: 2011

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will continue the commercial development of the Liquid Tin Anode Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (LTA-SOFC) for direct conversion of biomass to electrical power. The LTA-SOFC is a transformational energy technology that dramatically increases the efficiency and simplicity of power generation from conventional fuels. In biopower, the LTA-SOFC provides a pathway to improve efficiency and capital cost and also enables smaller scale applications. Phase I successfully demonstrated the feasibility of direct biomass conversion to power, using biomass feed stocks which can have significant societal, environmental and economic impacts. Specifically in Phase I several different types of biomass including poplar and switchgrass were used to generate power in an actual LTA-SOFC cell. Post-test analysis indicated no ash fusion and near 100% fuel utilization (little residual carbon left). The Phase II effort will continue development of biopower applications for LTA-SOFC by demonstrating biomass fuel efficiency in a small stack assembly with continuous feeding. Also, evaluation of the fate of biomass-specific volatile components such as potassium will contribute to the understanding of LTA-SOFC longevity. Phase II will demonstrate additional LTA-SOFC biopower technical performance to reduce risk and increase the potential for commercialization of LTA-SOFC biopower.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be increased use of renewable power. Currently biomass contributes only 1% of U.S. electric power despite available resources to provide over 20%. Increased use of biomass for electric power will reduce carbon emissions, increase energy security and create domestic jobs. Efficiencies lower than 20% and high capital cost of today?s technology make conventional biomass power about twice as expensive as coal limiting market penetration to about 1%. LTA-SOFC Direct Biomass generators will reduce the cost of power and lower capital cost while reducing emissions and feedstock consumption by 2-3 times. The EIA predicts that by 2030, biomass will generate 4.5% of U.S electricity, representing an available market for LTA-SOFC of about $30 billion. The LTA-SOFC commercialization strategy starts with small devices. Growth into commercial markets will provide the maturity required for more demanding biomass power markets. In the biopower area military users have powerful adoption incentive that will encourage them to become early adopters. The US defense establishment has a goal to use renewable energy for 25% of the facility electrical consumption by 2025. This SBIR will reduce technical risk, providing confidence for integrator partners to co-invest in commercialization of LTA-SOFC biomass generators.


Patent
CellTech Power Inc. | Date: 2011-03-30

The present invention relates to an electrochemical device. The device features an anode constructed of materials such that the device can be chemically recharged. In addition, the device is capable of switching between operating as a fuel cell or as a battery. The switch can occur without cessation of electrical output. In certain aspects of the invention, the device is capable of operating at a temperature of less than 1000 C. Other aspects feature a liquid anode which allows higher output, dispersion of fuel and minimal stresses in an interface comprising the anode. Preferably the anode is a liquid at a temperature of less than 1000 C. The invention also relates to methods for energy conversion in which a continual electrical output can be produced in both the presence of fuel without anode consumption or the absence of fuel.

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