Driving the next generation of solid oxide fuel cell designs through the power of scandium.
Scandia can substitute for yttria (yttrium oxide) as a stabilizing agent for the solid electrolyte located inside the fuel cell.
When compared to yttrium oxide, scandium oxide helps increase the electrolyte conductivity in SOFCs by more than 300%.
Scandium oxide allows conductivity to occur at lower temperatures in SOFCs, in turn extending the lifespan of its components and maximizing its power density.
Fuel cells may have been used as an electrical power supply source for various sectors for more than 100 years, but the current solid oxide fuel cell design stands out from the pack. SOFCs are more energy efficient, adapted to different fuel sources, contain fewer exotic metal components in their structure and have a minimal impact on the environment.
SOFCs operate at temperatures of approximately 1,000 ⁰C and use a hard ceramic material as a solid electrolyte (typically zirconia). Traditionally, yttria has been used as a stabilizing agent for the solid electrolyte, but recent SOFC designs have demonstrated that scandia (scandium oxide) is a superior stabilizing agent and a better ionic electrical conductor than yttrium.
As it turns out, scandium helps the SOFC’s electrolyte to conduct at lower temperatures (between 750 and 800⁰C). It even helps the unit to reach power density at those same low temperatures. Thanks to those low temperatures and scandium, SOFC manufacturers can now reduce their thermal shielding material costs (using stainless steel instead of exotic alloys). Plus, thermal stress is reduced within the unit, pushing the operating cycle of a scandia-stabilized SOFC by more than 10 years (instead of the typical two to three-year cycle of an yttria-stabilized SOFC).
Increased service life, greater power outputs and cost savings: Scandia-stabilized SOFCs are today’s leading choice for the grid-supplied electrical power sector.
above the competition with North America’s most accessible and reliable source of high purity scandium.