Annu. Rev. Mater. Res. 2003. 33:183–213doi: 10.1146/annurev.matsci.33.022802.094122Copyrightc
2003 by Annual Reviews. All rights reservedFirst published online as a Review in Advance on February 26, 2003
and B.C.H. Steele
Department of Chemical Engineering,
Department of Materials, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom; email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com
materials technology, fuel cell stacks, reformers, SOFC, PEMFC
After a brief survey of fuel cell types, attention is focused on materialrequirements for SOFC and PEMFC stacks, with an introductory section on materialstechnologyforreformers.Materialscostandprocessing,togetherwithdurabilityissues,areemphasizedasthesenowdominatematerialsselectionprocessesforprototypestack units.Inadditiontooptimizingthecellcomponents,increasingattentionisbeinggivento the composition and processing of the bipolar plate component as the weight andvolume of the relevant material has a major inﬂuence on the overall power densityand cost of the fuel cell stack. It is concluded that the introduction of alternativematerials/processes that would enable PEMFC stacks to operate at 150–200
C,wouldhaveamajorimpactonthesuccessfulcommercialization of fuel cell technology.
The behavior of many of the individual components incorporated into fuel cellstacks has been surveyed elsewhere in this volume, thus the main aim of thiscontribution is to examine additional constraints in materials selection introducedwhenacomponentisincorporatedintoamass-producedfuelcellsystem.Manufac-turingandoperatingcosts,includingreliabilityanddurability,becomeparamount,and at present these factors usually restrict the commercial viability of fuel celltechnology.Information on fuel cell types and technology is provided by numerous bookspublished in the last decade (e.g., 1–4). Useful historical surveys have been pro-videdbyKordesch(5)andAppleby(6).Summariesofthecurrenttechnologicalandcommercial status of fuel cells are provided in the
Fuel Cell Handbook
issued bytheU.S.DepartmentofEnergy(7),ProceedingsoftheGroveFuelCellSymposium(8),andFuelCellsBulletin(8a).Muchusefulinformationcanalsobedownloadedfrom a variety of web sites (e.g., http://www.fuelcelltoday.com and links therein).