Pasadena, CA, United States
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Papandrew A.B.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Chisholm C.R.I.,Safcell Inc. | Zecevic S.K.,Safcell Inc. | Veith G.M.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the Electrochemical Society | Year: 2013

The performance of hydrogen fuel cells based on the crystalline solid proton conductor CsH2PO4 is circumscribed by the mass activity of platinum oxygen reduction catalysts in the cathode. Here we report on the first application of an alloy catalyst in a solid acid fuel cell, and demonstrate a mass activity 4.5 times greater than Pt at 0.8 V. This activity enhancement was obtained with platinum-palladium alloys that were vapor-deposited directly on CsH2PO4 at 210°C. Catalyst mass activity peaks at a composition of 84 at% Pd, though smaller activity enhancements are observed for catalyst compositions exceeding 50 at% Pd. Prior to fuel cell testing, Pd-rich catalysts display lattice parameter expansions of up to 2% due to the presence of interstitial carbon. After fuel cell testing, a Pt-Pd solid solution absent of lattice dilatation and depleted in carbon is recovered. The structural evolution of the catalysts is correlated with catalyst de-activation. © 2012 The Electrochemical Society.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.81K | Year: 2012

This proposal addresses the Army's need for high-energy density, lightweight power sources for the dismounted warrior. The project proposes directly integrating a propane fuel reformer with the state of the art in solid acid fuel cell (SAFC) stacks to prove the feasibility of producing a 50 W person-portable, rugged, and efficient power supply utilizing propane fuel, capable of operating over 500 hours with a system energy density of 1000 Whr/kg.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 595.29K | Year: 2013

This project develops a person portable, propane-fed, solid acid electrolyte fuel cell (SAFC) generator as a lightweight power source for dismounted soldiers. The focus of the project will be the development and testing of a complete system including cell and stack scale-up and testing, and a SAFC specific water recovery subsystem. The SAFC system shall produce over 50W electrical power for 500 hours with a system energy density above 1000 Wh/Kg.


Were a focused group of business, engineering, and scientific professionals commercializing a transformative energy technology.We develop Solid Acid Fuel Cell stacks for stationary and portable power applications, from tens of watts to tens of kilowatts ...


Safcell Inc. | Entity website

The problemDuring wartime operations, generators are the largest consumer of fuel for the U.S ...


What is a fuel cell?A fuel cell is an energy conversion device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. For example, it can convert a hydrocarbon fuel like propane gas into electricity without combustion ...


Safcell Inc. | Entity website

Our solutionSAFCell has developed a remote area power system that's fuel efficient, rugged, and maintenance free. Our RP-50-M system operates on the same industrial grade methanol that's used at wellheads ...


SAFCell, Inc. (Pasadena, CA) is proud to announce its participation in the new American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) ...


News Article | June 19, 2014
Site: www.greentechmedia.com

The U.S. Department of Energy’s ARPA-E agency just announced $33 million in funding for thirteen fuel cell projects that can be used as low-cost power generation and grid balancing assets. The projects are being funded under ARPA-E’s new Reliable Electricity Based on Electrochemical Systems (REBELS) program that was announced last fall. “The world of materials and grid technologies has moved so much” in just the past few years, Cheryl Martin, acting director of ARPA-E, said in an interview during New York Energy Week. “Distributed generation technologies like these could fundamentally change the way America generates and stores energy.” Fuel cells, which convert chemical energy from a fuel source into electrical energy, have been touted for decades as a form of alternative energy, but high costs have kept them largely sidelined both in distributed power generation and transportation. REBELS focuses on intermediate-temperature fuel cells (200°C to 500 °C), also known as ITFCs, which Martin said involves innovations happening at the materials layer. The projects fall into three categories starting with ITFCs for distributed generation, the category in which more than half of the awardees fall. The next category of projects will integrate ITFCs and electrical storage at the system level, so that fuel cells can be used for grid balancing. The third category of ITFCs will produce liquid fuels from gaseous hydrocarbons, such as methane. The goal of the REBELS program is to reach installed costs of less than $1,500 per kilowatt at moderate production volumes. “It could be an additional piece in the evolving grid,” Martin said of fuel cell breakthroughs. The REBELS program joins ARPA-E’s GENI, GRIDS and ADEPT programs that are also funding technologies that could contribute to a more efficient, distributed grid. The biggest winner in this round of REBELS funding was Redox Power Systems, which received $5 million for its low-temperature solid oxide fuel cell. Last year, Redox told Greentech Media that it could push the cost of fuel cells down to as little as $800 per kilowatt at volume production, less than one-tenth the cost per kilowatt of Bloom’s fuel cells. Redox will use the ARPA-E funding to develop a mid-temperature fuel cell operating at 400°C that uses a novel material configuration which will increase the power density while still allowing for stability. SAFCell, a spinout from the California Institute of Technology, received the second-largest award: $3.7 million. It is developing a solid acid fuel cell that will operate at 250°C and uses virtually no precious metals. Instead, it uses carbon nanotubes as the basis for its catalysts. Among the three winners for liquid-fuel producing fuel cells, FuelCell Energy received $3.5 million to convert methane to methanol. FuelCell, which had its IPO in 1992, focuses on megawatt-sized fuel cells. As of last year, it told Greentech Media that it was selling its current units, which use molten carbonate technology, for about $3,000 per kilowatt, excluding installation. Another Connecticut-based company, United Technologies Research Center, received $3.2 million for a residential fuel cell that will combine a building’s heating and power systems. The University of California Los Angeles – Los Angeles, CA - Fuel Cells with Dynamic Response Capability - $1,000,000 Argonne National Laboratory – Argonne, IL - Hybrid Fuel Cell System for Converting Natural Gas to Electricity and Liquid Fuels - $2,000,000 Materials & Systems Research, Inc. – Salt Lake City, UT - Electrogenerative Cells for Flexible Cogeneration of Power and Liquid Fuel - $2,800,000 For more on the REBELS projects, click here. In its first five years, ARPA-E has funded close to 400 projects with an aggregate award total of nearly $1 billion. Martin said the focus for the first few years was on development and deployment of projects. Now, strategic partners are brought in at the very beginning of the process, rather than along the way. For the REBELS program, that could mean potential customers such as the military, utilities, and incumbent materials companies, such as BSF or Dow. “Strategics don’t have to agree upfront about what the technology will be used for,” said Martin. “We just want to change the paradigm of what’s possible.”

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