Session 3: Advances in Research
This project will focus on a nationally important subject of enabling low-cost fabrication of electrolyzers for production of hydrogen. We will use electroplating (electrodeposition) as a low cost, room temperature method to fabricate fuel electrode for solid oxide electrolyzers.
Performance Solutions Impacting Today and Future
Increased use of hydrogen is projected to be one of the main routes toward the goal of achieving cleaner environment. One of the most efficient methods to produce hydrogen is using electrolyzers, which are currently costly to produce. As such, only ~ 2% of the hydrogen currently is produced using electrolyzers. Similarly, hydrogen is the main fuel for fuel cells that are considered for clean transportation and distributed power applications. New low-cost and scalable manufacturing processes that bring down the cost of electrolyzers are attractive. We are exploring using electrodeposition to fabricate cermets (metal-ceramic composites) for electrodes in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs) (anode in SOFC and cathode in SOEC). We are exploring various electrodeposition modes including pulsed current and direct current with different parameters to infiltrate metals including Cu and Ni into porous ceramic scaffolds. Currently, fabrication of such electrodes is done using casting, screen printing, spin coating, and impregnation. However, these processes are not efficient, sometime require multiple (at least 10 times) iterations and high temperature reduction (such as in the case of impregnation).