Department of Energy(DOE) awards Phase I SBIR contract to nGimat to develop Low Cost Spray-On Coatings for Protection of SOFC Interconnects and BOP Components

June 27, 2012 – ATLANTA, GA

The use of ferritic steels in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) can decrease cost, but degradation of these materials due to elevated temperatures (600 to 1000 degrees Celsius), dual reducing and oxidizing atmospheres, and water vapor present during operation necessitates the development of innovative solutions to provide durable oxidation protection and mitigation of chromium (Cr) volatilization. Current solutions involve the use of specialty alloys or coatings that are often expensive, ineffective, or impractical for SOFC components.

nGimat Company proposes the use of NanoSpraySM Combustion Chemical Vapor Deposition (CCVD) for the flame spray application of coatings intended to protect SOFC stainless steel interconnects and balance of plant (BOP) components against oxidation, corrosion, and metal loss that leads to increased cost as well as decreased SOFC lifetime and performance. Test results show that CCVD-formed nanolaminate technology does increase the lifetime and durability of stainless steels used for SOFC components as well as other metals in high-temperature environments while costing less than other thin film coating processes.

This fuel cell project was competitively selected under the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program. It is managed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). With the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA), NETL is leading the research, development, and demonstration of SOFCs for both domestic coal and natural gas fueled central generation power systems that will enable low cost, high efficiency, near-zero emissions and water usage, and carbon dioxide (CO2) capture.