Development of miniaturized, ceramic high-temperature fuel-cell-components using resources-perserving mass-production processes

The application of nano scaled powder and powder injection moulding (PIM) for energy efficient co-sintering of miniaturized solid oxid fuel cells which can produce current and heat by using renewable raw materials.

Short Description




The general objective of this project is the evaluation and the development of a less resources consuming and energy efficient mass production process for the manufacturing of miniaturized solid oxid fuel cell (SOFC) components.

The specific technical objectives are as follows:

  • Development and manufacturing of nano scaled SOFC materials for the decrease of the sinter temperature.
  • Development of suitable feedstocks for co-sintering of nano scaled SOFC materials.
  • Evaluation of a less resources consuming mass production process, e.g. powder injection moulding (PIM), extrusion and dip-coating for manufacturing multi-layered miniaturized ceramic tubes.
  • Development of an energy efficient co-sintering process for manufacturing miniaturized multilayered ceramic tubes.
  • Assembling and test of a SOFC stack.

The development of nano scaled ceramic SOFC materials for energy efficient manufacturing of anode/electrolyte/cathode (AEC) units will be prepared by using hydrothermal and sol-gel synthesis. As a reference, standard materials of the SOFC materials will be prepared by normal precipitation routes or purchased at companies if available.

The following development of suitable feedstocks for PIM or Extrusion will be ensued by controlling the rheological properties of the ceramic materials, e.g. by variation of the solvent, binder and additives, to enable the co-sintering process of the AEC-units. Based on these thermally matched electrolyte and electrode materials mass production processes as e.g. PIM, extrusion and dip-coating will be used for the preparation of the ceramic AEC-units, at this stage so called green bulk materials. These green bulk materials will be co-sintered under special temperature conditions and gas atmospheres to brown bulk materials, simultaneously removing the solvent, binder and additives, and afterwards to the final AEC-units. These AEC-units will be characterized, e.g. their temperature alternation stability, and be assembled to a SOFC stack which will undergo some electrical performance tests.

The expected results of this project are based on the combination of innovative materials and process development for the production of AEC-units. Especially by saving two sintering steps due to the co-sintering of the materials an energy efficient manufacturing of SOFC components will be expected. At the same time, the use of nano scaled materials shall lead to lower sintering temperatures. During the manufacturing of the green bulk materials, a quality control step by using thermography will be applied, which enables the sorting out of possible defective units before the co-sintering step occurs. Therefore, resources can be saved because the defective units could be worked off and supplied again to the feedstock.

Besides this process and environmental relevant results the manufacturing of an energy efficient miniaturized SOFC prototype shall be prepared.

Project Partners

Project manager

Dr. Nils Stelzer
Tel.: +43 (0) 50550/3351

Project partners

  • ALPPS Fuel Cell Systems GmbH,
    Peter. Claassen, GF,
    Dipl.-Ing. Gerhard Örtelt
    Exerzierplatzstraße 4,
    8051 Graz
    Tel.: +43 (0) 316-681284 - 10,
    Fax: +43 (0) 0316-681284-19,
  • Gabriel-Chemie Gesellschaft m.b.H.
    Andreas Eder
  • Ernst Wittner Ges.m.b.H.
    Ing. Wolgang Wittner
    Peter Wittner


o. Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Erich Gornik
2444 Seibersdorf
Tel.: +43 (0) 50550/4010
Fax: +43 (0) 50550**