DOE Invests $34 Million to Develop Small-Scale Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Systems

Department of Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the selection of 12 projects to receive approximately $34 million in federal funding under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA), Small-Scale Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems and Hybrid Electrolyzer Technology Development.

This FOA seeks to develop advanced technologies that can progress the present state of small-scale solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) hybrid systems using solid oxide electrolyzer cell technologies to a point of commercial readiness for hydrogen production and power generation. It also seeks validation of SOFC using syngas from gasification facilities.

“The Trump Administration is committed to making SOFC systems commercially available for hydrogen production and power generation. Selecting these projects for funding is a huge step toward that goal,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “By working with National Laboratories, academic institutions, and private industry, we are combining a vast amount of knowledge and expertise to mature—and ultimately commercialize—these technologies.”

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This research effort is part of DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE) SOFC Program, which focuses on enabling the generation of highly efficient, cost-effective electricity from coal and natural gas with near-zero atmospheric emissions. The selected projects work toward the shared goal of ensuring an efficient and reliable electrical grid, while also protecting the environment.

“SOFCs are electrochemical devices that convert the chemical energy of a fuel and oxidant directly into electrical energy. They are unique in that they produce electricity through an electrochemical reaction and not through a combustion process,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. “This means that SOFCs are much more efficient and environmentally benign than conventional electric power generation processes.”

The applicants identified for selection received the highest technical scores in their area of interest under the DOE FOA issued in May of this year. To learn more about the 12 selected projects, visit FE’s website.

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