Using advanced computational methods, University of Wisconsin–Madison materials scientists have discovered new materials that could bring widespread commercial use of solid oxide fuel cells closer to reality.
A solid oxide fuel cell is essentially an engine that provides an alternative way to burn fossil fuels or hydrogen to generate power. These fuel cells burn their fuel electrochemically instead of by combustion, and are more efficient than any practical combustion engine.
As an alternative energy technology, solid oxide fuel cells are a versatile, highly efficient power source that could play a vital role in the future of energy. Solid oxide fuel cells could be used in a variety of applications, from serving as a power supply for buildings to increasing fuel efficiency in vehicles.
However, solid oxide fuel cells are more costly than conventional energy technologies, and that has limited their adoption.