Novel design of fuel-cells and electrolysers

Business opportunity

Demand for hydrogen continues to rise almost entirely supplied from fossil fuels, accounting for CO2 emissions of 800 million tonnes yearly. Hydrogen technology is however holding promise to be the only reasonable solution to storage of intermittent renewable energy. With clean production, hydrogen will be a carbon-free fuel suitable for the whole transport sector, private, domestic and industrial power supply, and balance of power grids. Therefore, clean hydrogen is currently enjoying unprecedented political and business momentum. Now is the time to scale up technologies and bring down costs to allow hydrogen to become widely used. We offer a new design for fuel cells, electrolysers, and electrochemical reactors that enables more efficient, durable, and low-cost production of hydrogen, power, or chemicals from renewable energy and gives optimal energy-grid balance. The technology is applicable for energy converters, carbon capture and storage, and production of hydrogen and other fuels.

Inven2 seeks investors, development partners and licensees for the technology.

 

Technology description

The development of fuel cells and electrolysers are currently hampered by electrode poisoning and corrosion of metallic interconnects and current collectors; delamination, degradation and interface resistance between different ceramic layers; and lowered cell efficiency. Researchers at the University of Oslo have developed a proton ceramic electrochemical cell designed for a simplified one-step manufacturing of a whole structure with one single material only and post infiltration of the electrode materials. Based on additive manufacturing (3D-printing), the novel design combines the pro’s and avoids the con’s from existing solutions. The proposed solution offers an electrolyte-electrode interface where the high thermal expansion electrode material is infiltrated and confined in porous electrolyte structure with low thermal expansion; all seals and connections are in the cold-zone, while the electroactive part of the structure operates at high temperature. The cell geometry is tuneable with open channels for gas and current collection; a structure tolerating large pressure gradients with the option of compressive strain and improved gas and heat management. Furthermore, the solution offers the combination of benefits from planar and tubular geometries; optimized gas, heat and pressure management combined with cross-plane current collection with low ohmic resistance, and avoids a laminate structure between ceramic layers of mismatching thermal expansion.

 

Advantages

Simple one-material design for fuel cells and electrolysers improving power efficiency and cell durability.

 

Publications

GB priority patent application GB2004339.4

Elin Melby Ph.D

Elin Melby Ph.D

Technology Strategy Manager

Innovation

+47 95 20 70 71

elin.melby@inven2.com