Phillips 66 has received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to advance the development of high-performance reversible solid oxide fuel cells.
Phillips 66 will collaborate with the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of a low-cost and highly efficient reversible solid oxide fuel cell (RSOFC) system for hydrogen and electricity generation. The technology is one of many Phillips 66 is pursuing as part of its commitment to a sustainable, lower-carbon energy future.
“Our scientists and engineers are at the forefront of solid oxide fuel cell technology,” said Ann Oglesby, VP, Energy Research & Innovation at Phillips 66. “We are pleased to partner with Georgia Tech to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of this innovative reversible system.”
SOFCs are ceramic devices that generate electricity efficiently, with low emissions and at a competitive cost by oxidizing a fuel, such as hydrogen or natural gas, through electrochemical reactions rather than combustion. They have a lower carbon footprint compared with conventional power plants and are an ideal technology for the capture of carbon dioxide.
Reversible SOFCs allow for the fuel cells to operate in either power generation mode, as a solid oxide fuel cell, or reverse mode, as a solid oxide electrolysis cell. In the latter, electricity is applied to the cells to produce hydrogen, a low-emission fuel, through electrolysis.
Phillips 66 has made significant technical progress in the area of solid oxide fuel cells and holds eight U.S. granted patents and 22 pending U.S. patent applications in its SOFC intellectual property portfolio.
The grant was awarded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy. Phillips 66 will be the research lead on the grant, with Georgia Tech as a collaborative partner.