SOFCs usually operate at temperatures between 600-900°C. High temperature operation brings the advantage of high fuel flexibility and the possibility to use low cost catalysts. SOFCs can operate not only on hydrogen but also on fuels such as natural- or biogas as well as diesel. Possible applications for SOFCs include e.g. decentralized power supply for households and auxiliary power units for trucks. Today, the main obstacles for commercialization are limited lifetimes combined with high production costs. Our research addresses both issues.
By replacing ceramics with less expensive steels the production costs can be lowered substantially. However, steels suffer from high temperature corrosion that significantly limits the lifetime of the SOFC. We are investigating degradation mechanisms and developing, together with industry partners, coatings that enhance the properties of the metallic materials in the demanding SOFC environment.