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Lewis Center, OH, United States

Patent
NexTech Materials, Ltd. | Date: 2014-08-29

Electrode materials systems for planar solid oxide fuel cells with high electrochemical performance including anode materials that provide exceptional long-term durability when used in reducing gases and cathode materials that provide exceptional long-term durability when used in oxygen-containing gases. The anode materials may comprise a cermet in which the metal component is a cobalt-nickel alloy. These anode materials provide exceptional long-term durability when used in reducing gases, e.g., in SOFCs with sulfur contaminated fuels. The cermet also may comprise a mixed-conducting ceria-based electrolyte material. The anode may have a bi-layer structure. A cerium oxide-based interfacial layer with mixed electronic and ionic conduction may be provided at the electrolyte/anode interface.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015

NASA has a defined need for energy dense and highly efficient energy storage and power delivery systems for future space missions. Compared to other fuel cell technologies, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) based systems are better suited to meeting NASA's efficiency targets while operating directly on methane and oxygen reactants. SOFC power systems for lunar landers and other exploration vehicles are an ideal application for this technology, as well as for power generation on the moon or on Mars. NexTech Materials has established SOFC technology that offers high power density with direct internal fuel reforming and high single-pass fuel utilization, making it uniquely suited for achieving NASA's performance and efficiency requirements. In Phase I of this project, NexTech designed a methane/oxygen SOFC system and established a process model, designed the stack and hot box for this system, and completed testing to validate that the target efficiency of 70 percent was achievable. In Phase II of this project, NexTech will specify and source all system components, build a three-dimensional CAD model of the methane/oxygen SOFC system, build and test 1-kW scale stacks of the Phase I design, demonstrate 70 percent electrical efficiency in a stack with only methane and oxygen reactant feeds, and evaluate long term durability and thermal cycling capability of the stack.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: In this SBIR project, NexTech Materials will collaborate with Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) to design an SOFC based auxiliary power unit (APU) for unmanned aerial systems. The APU will be based on NexTechs sulfur tolerant and power dense SOFC stack and PCIs sulfur tolerant JP-8 reforming technology. In Phase I of the project, various system design options will be considered and process modeling will be performed on a 2-kW scale, JP-8 fueled SOFC system with minimum 25 percent fuel efficiency. In addition, 3D CAD modeling will be performed to maximize the system gravimetric power density, with a minimum of 100 W/kg being targeted. In Phase II, NexTech will advance the design and build, test, and demonstrate the key features of the APU via breadboard testing. Successful execution of this project will result in a substantial advancement in the performance and capability of unmanned aerial systems of interest to the Air Force and other U.S. military branches. BENEFIT: Unmanned aerial systems are being used in ever expanding types of missions, and with a concomitant need for increased payloads, the weight and power draws lead to reduced endurance. This drives the need for power dense and high efficiency auxiliary power units to support non-flight critical on-board electrical power needs. The proposed SOFC-based APU technology is specifically geared toward the requirements of unmanned aerial systems. However, there are a number of other military power applications that would benefit from the JP-8 fueled SOFC system technology. These include unmanned ground systems, auxiliary power units for military ground vehicles and silent watch missions, battery chargers, tent city heat and power systems, and runway lighting.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Office of the Secretary of Defense | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 996.11K | Year: 2015

Small unmanned aerial systems (S-UAS), unmanned ground systems (UGS), vehicle auxiliary power units (APU), and mobile power generation units require high efficiency power systems capable of operating on logistically available fuels (JP-8, diesel) to enable long endurance operation. In particular, S-UASs in the Group 2 (21 55 lbs)/Group 3 ( 150 cm2 active area) in the Phase I and then to the stack level (500W 3 kW) in the Phase II in order to determine the feasibility for integration into a complete SOFC power system. There is a particular interest in potential stack technologies which prove to be flexible to fuel reformate composition and tolerant to fuel impurities, such as sulfur content.


Patent
NexTech Materials, Ltd. | Date: 2015-04-20

Provided are a composition including a hydrogen-selective porous composite, a hydrogen gas sensor device including the hydrogen-selective porous composite, a kit for detecting hydrogen including the hydrogen gas sensor device, and a method for detecting hydrogen including contacting a hydrogen-comprising gas to the hydrogen selective porous composite. The method may include, for example: providing a hydrogen-comprising gas; providing a hydrogen-selective porous composite, the hydrogen-selective porous composite comprising cerium oxide; contacting the hydrogen-comprising gas to the hydrogen-selective porous composite; and selectively detecting hydrogen in the hydrogen-comprising gas according to a decrease in an electrical resistance of the hydrogen-selective porous composite.

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