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NexTech's MCO Protected Coatings Achieve Service Life of Over 40k Hours in SOFCs

Published on 2011-08-16. Author : SpecialChem

LEWIS CENTER, Ohio -- A critical challenge in the commercialization of solid oxide fuel cells is the selection and manufacture of components that will last for thousands of hours, but at an economical cost. Building on test results presented at the 12th DOE SECA Workshop, NexTech Materials, Ltd. has performed accelerated stability tests that predict a service life of over 40,000 hours at 750°C for low cost ferritic steel (AL 441 HP) interconnect components protected by its manganese-cobalt spinel (MCO) coatings.

This achievement represents a critical milestone for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). SOFCs generate electricity at extremely high efficiencies, but operate at high temperature, creating a number of engineering challenges. To date, SOFC system lifetime has been limited by the metal component oxidation. As demonstrated by NexTech, MCO protective coatings reduce the oxidation rate of ferritic steels by a factor of twenty or more. NexTech's coating product leverages its exclusive world-wide license of coating technology patented by Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (AIM/ASX: CFU). The MCO coating leverages NexTech's materials and sintering process technology to enhance the scalability and cost-effectiveness of the coating process.

NexTech Materials, Ltd. has also completed extensive manufacturing analyses of the protective coating process. A three-stage technology roadmap has been developed to provide SOFC developers component coating solutions at part counts ranging from prototyping to full volume production.

NexTech's CEO, William Dawson commented on the milestone, "These results are encouraging for solving one of the key remaining practical limitations of solid oxide fuel cell technology." NexTech is continuing to study a wide range of ferritic steels and will continue to collect additional lifetime predictive data over a wide range of temperatures.

About NexTech Materials, Ltd.

NexTech is one of the leading developers and suppliers of materials, components and services for the fuel cell industry and is dedicated to reducing the manufacturing and operating costs of fuel cells and other electrochemical devices. NexTech's customers are located in over 35 countries and include leading researchers, developers and manufacturers throughout the world.

NexTech Materials, Ltd. was founded as a privately held company in 1994 and has grown into one of Ohio's leading technology companies. NexTech's vision is to be a global leader in the development and manufacturing of innovative products for energy and environmental markets. NexTech recently expanded its manufacturing and R&D facilities located in Lewis Center, Ohio. NexTech has many products in the pipeline including fuel cell stacks for military and residential power applications, sensors for gas detection and control systems, catalysts for energy conversion systems, and membranes for gas separation devices.

Source: NexTech Materials

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