The Laboratory for Ceramic Fuel Cells at Ukrainian Frantcevych Institute for Problems of Materials Science. with many years of experience in the field of ceramic fuel cells (SOFC) proposed a new concept to transform phenomena in fuel cells into an instrument for directional influence of degradation processes in virgin CFC materials to enhance and optimize the CFC structure. For this purpose they developed novel zirconia nano-powders and synthesized them starting from abundant Ukrainian zirconia natural resources. New nano-powder was produced at the local mining plant from zircon-sand deposit that is practically the only in Europe and the largest in all the North hemisphere. Physical tests of this new material showed better results comparing to existing materials on the market. The fuel cells manufactured using the powders show almost ten times better ionic conductivity, comparing to closest existing alternative, to result in SOFC operating at 600 degrees Celcius,  demonstrating that a promising alternative to the commercial SOFC electrolyte materials is possible.
The research team of the Laboratory for Ceramic Fuel Cells recently founded a start-up, Zirconia Ukraine Ltd., and is looking for investors with the aim to commercialize the production of own scandia stabilized zirconia powders, and  produce low temperature 5kWfuel cells. Such system will meet the Horizon 2020 requirements for >60 000 hours operation at ~65 % fuel cell efficiency and ~95 % at heat utilization with a microturbine made of own titanium composite.

For more information, contact Director on R&D Oleksandr Vasylyev

Image source: