Machine Design

Advances on the fuel-cell front

University of Missouri-Rolla researchers are working on solid-oxide fuel cells to be a clean, alternative energy for use in aircraft and electrical power. According to Dr. Harlan Anderson, director of UMR's Electronic Materials Applied Research Laboratory, the solid-oxide cells could prove more useful than polymer-electrolyte versions because they burn a variety of fuels, not just hydrogen.

Researchers hope to develop a cell capable of producing 5 kW of electricity, or enough to power an average house. But it must operate at 750°C or below, low for a fuel cell; current versions need to see about 1,000*C to operate efficiently.



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