The goal of our research is to enable the adoption of solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs) for the production of chemical fuels from electricity. Many people are familiar with solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), which convert hydrogen and oxygen into water, and in the process, produce electricity. Our solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) research aims to use an opposite reaction: electricity inputs from renewable sources (such as wind and solar) create an electrochemical reaction that outputs, and stores, usable hydrogen fuel and oxygen.
At present, SOEC conversion efficiencies remain low, operating temperatures too high, and degradation too severe for widescale adoption of this technology. To overcome these issues we address three specific themes through our research:
Theme A) the development of high-stability, high-conductivity electrolytes
Theme B) the development of high-activity electrodes
Theme C) the mitigation of degradation modes
See each of the links above to our themes for key performance improvements targeted by our PIRE program.