Jun 20, 2014

NASA awards Development of Hermetic Sealing Glasses for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

The long-term space exploration mission of NASA requires high-efficiency power systems to be used for the human exploration and operations in space. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are of current interest because they can utilize methane and other fuels generated on-site at the Moon or Mars to produce electricity. Solid oxide electrolyzers (SOEs) are also of importance as a life support system because SOEs can generate oxygen by electrolyzing CO2 available in space. Both SOFCs and SOEs are high-temperature systems and require robust seals that can prevent intermixing of air (oxygen) and fuel, remain inert in reducing and oxidizing environments while in contact with SOFC/SOE materials, and maintain their effectiveness through repeated thermal cycles. This program will provide new reliable, thermally stable, hermetic sealing materials critical for the development of SOFCs and SOEs.