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Nano Coatings for Solid Oxide Fuels Cells (NACOSOFC)

  • Published 16/03/2011
As a part of Nordic Top-level Research Initiative, NACOSOFC aims at developing protective coatings for the metallic parts in the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) can convert hydrogen (but also other fuels like methane, biogas etc.) with high efficiency into electricity at very low emissions. Thus on the short term SOFC can contribute to a more efficient use of existing fuels and on the slightly longer term SOFC can contribute to a CO2 neutral energy production.


SOFC can also be operated in a combined fuel cell and electrolysis mode to generate fuel from surplus electricity when this is available and to convert fuel back into electricity when needed. This will be a key function for power-grid load-balancing and hence help the large scale introduction of sustainable energy sources like wind- and solar power.


However, SOFCs with today’s technology have not the reliability and long-term stability that would make a large scale use feasible. A number of degradation mechanisms are related to the steel parts of the fuel cell in combination with a high operating temperature of 700-900°C.

This project investigates the use of nano-coatings to prevent these degradation mechanisms. E.g. by the application of thin films of cerium the corrosion rates of the material can be reduced substantially. Other coatings (or combinations of coatings) can be used to improve chemical stability or electronic properties. In the course of the project the coatings will be applied by a large scale industrial process at Sandvik Materials Technology (Sandviken, Sweden). The properties of the coated materials are then studied at University of Oslo (Oslo, Norway)and Chalmers University of Technology (Göteborg, Sweden) under various conditions. Topsoe Fuel Cells (Lyngby, Denmark) will use coated components in their Fuel Cell stacks and evaluate their benefits under real life conditions.


Project participants



Jan-Erik Svensson

Chalmers University of Technology



University of Oslo

Sandvik Materials Technology



Topsoe Fuel Cell