SOFC Protection Coatings Based on a Cost-Effective Aluminization Process Email Page
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NexTech Materials Ltd.

Award Number:  SC0008203
Project Duration:  06/28/2012 – 08/13/2015
Total Award Value:  $1,150,000.00
DOE Share:  $1,150,000.00
Performer Share:  $0.00
Technology Area:  Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Key Technology: 

Project Description

To demonstrate the applicability of NexTech Materials' aluminization process to solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) applications, two commercially important systems will be investigated. (1) Compatibility of aluminide coating with SOFC stack components will be evaluated, including interactions with sealant materials and other cell components. A complete interconnect coating solution will be demonstrated by integrating the aluminide coating with the existing manganese cobalt oxide (MCO) active layer coating. The performance of these dual MCO/aluminide coated interconnects will be validated through three-cell stack tests. (2) The high-temperature corrosion protection and chromium volatilization mitigation of aluminide coated balance of plant (BOP) components will be evaluated. The commercial potential of the aluminization process for providing protective aluminide coatings for both the non-active seal area of metallic interconnects and BOP components will be quantified based on an analysis of cost and performance. This work leverages NexTech’s process technology for applying conductive oxide protective coatings to ferritic steels. This process has already been translated from the laboratory to pilot-scale manufacturing.

Project Benefits

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is developing the next generation of efficient fossil fuel technologies capable of producing affordable electric power with near-zero emissions. The Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) program at DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is focused on developing low-cost, highly efficient SOFC power systems that are capable of simultaneously producing electric power, from either natural gas or coal, with carbon capture capabilities. Research is directed towards the technologies that are critical to the commercialization of SOFC technology. To successfully complete the development of SOFC technology from the present state to the point of commercial readiness, the SOFC Program efforts are aligned into three Key Technologies:

(1) Anode, Cathode, and Electrolyte (AEC) Development
(2) Atmospheric Pressure Systems
(3) Pressurized Systems

The AEC Development Key Technology is R&D in nature whereas the other two, Atmospheric Pressure Systems and Pressurized Systems, are focused on the development, demonstration, and deployment of SOFC power systems.

The AEC Development Key Technology consists of projects that will lead to substantially improved power density, enhanced performance, reduced degradation rate, and more reliable and robust systems. Research is focused on the technologies critical to the commercialization of SOFC technology, such as cathode performance, gas seals, interconnects, failure analysis, coal contaminants, fuel processing, and balance-of-plant components. Research is conducted at universities, national laboratories, small businesses, and other R&D organizations.

NexTech Materials Ltd. will build upon encouraging preliminary results to develop a commercially viable aluminization process that is amenable to high volume solid oxide fuel cell manufacturing. This work will leverage NexTech’s commercial process technology for applying conductive oxide protective coatings to ferritic steels – a process that has already been translated from the laboratory to pilot scale manufacturing at NexTech. It is anticipated that this experience will expedite commercialization of the aluminization process.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Technology Manager 
Principal Investigator 


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