Altair Announces Solution to SOFC Material Mismatch Problem

July 18, 2001 by Jeff Shepard

Altair International Inc. (Cody, WY) announced that it believes it has solved the material mismatch problem for solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC). The company can use its 20-nanometer Yttria Stabilized Zirconia (YSZ) to form the electrolyte, and using the same process with different thermal and chemical controls, also make the substrates for the anode and cathode from YSZ containing the conductors needed for both elements. The electrolyte is a dense material permeable only to oxygen-ion transfer. The substrate materials are 50- to 55-percent porous.

"Altair's recent breakthrough appears to solve one of the problems, material mismatch," said Ken Lyon, president of Altair. "Problems related to catalyst life and reaction controls are being addressed by a parallel research program funded by Altair at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the direction of Professor Jackie Ying. We believe the two programs will soon lead to additional breakthroughs and solutions to the remaining problems currently delaying proliferation of fuel cells."