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Oxide-based SOFC Anode Materials

Battelle Number(s): 12776-E, 12773-E, 12774-E
Patent(s) Issued
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  • Shown in green, the ceria-based anode materials provide excellent conductivity with resiliance not offered in traditional metal oxides.

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In a solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC), the anode facilitates the reaction between hydrogen, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon fuels with oxygen ions that permeate the electrolyte from the cathode side of the cell. An ideal anode should have high electrical conductivity and electro-catalytic activity, and further, it would be advantageous if the anode was tolerant to intermittent air exposure and sulfur-containing compounds in hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline, diesel and natural gas.


Researchers at PNNL have developed a new class of nickel-free anode materials, consisting of a composite of doped cerium oxide and doped strontium titanate. These materials show excellent electrical conductivity, an activity similar to nickel, and are tolerant to the presence of impurities in the fuel such as sulfur.  The new class of materials is presently being engineered for use in large SOFC stacks.


The novel materials provide the positive attributes of metal electrodes like nickel with additional degradation characteristics. This combination of materials and characteristics provide for strong performance and longer life of the cell.




  • Less susceptible to contaminants such as sulfur
  • Oxidation tolerant during shut down cycles
  • Comparable to other anode materials in manufacturing cost and process
  • Provides for longer life due to the stability in the presence of contaminants.


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