Green fuel for cells

A £60,000 grant from The BOC Foundation will allow Professor John Irvine at the University of St Andrews to refine a novel fuel cell technology that he has developed.

A £60,000 grant from The BOC Foundation, an organisation which supports practical means of reducing pollution in the UK, will allow Professor John Irvine at the University of St Andrews to refine a fuel cell technology that he has developed.

Professor Irvine said: “If successful, the project could eventually lead to lower cost, and more efficient fuel cell systems without the need for complex and expensive fuel processors.

The Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technology (SOFC) developed by Irnine and his team of researchers in the Department of Chemistry is a ceramic device capable of efficient conversion of chemical to electrical energy at high temperatures.

Using the new funds, the group will now investigate a new oxide-based fuel electrode they have recently discovered.

Although, the importance of developing new oxide anodes is widely recognised, there have been few structured programmes aimed at finding new anode materials, developing them and testing them in natural gas. The possibility of incorporating this anode into the patented St. Andrews fuel cell concept will also be investigated.

The one-year project aims to demonstrate the fuel cell operating efficiently using liquid petroleum gas through the newly-developed anode and at high temperatures.

The BOC Foundation is an independent organisation established by The BOC Group, on of the world’s leading gas companies. The Foundation currently funds a wide range of environmental projects in the UK.