SOFC SINGLE CELL - Single Cell Test Stand for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

The aim of this project was to investigate Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) fuelled with carbon monoxide in order to generate performance data which can subsequently be used for design studies of such power systems.

Short Description

Future Mars mission plans of the ESA and the NASA include a Mars sample return mission as well as a manned Mars mission. Such advanced missions will require significantly more surface power than current Mars missions. It is thus essential to design suitable on-board power systems that provide mission elements with sufficient amounts of electrical power.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) are among potential options for this application. SOFCs are capable to run on different fuels including hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane. Carbon monoxide is particularly attractive for Mars applications as this fuel type can directly be produced on Mars. Experimental data of SOFCs running on concentrated carbon monoxide are not available in literature.

The experiments were carried out by means of SOFC single cell testing on a test facility specifically designed and implemented for this purpose.

It was shown that the electrochemical oxidation of carbon monoxide within a SOFC proceeds fast enough to generate power at adequate efficiency levels. The results demonstrated the principle feasibility of designing SOFC systems operated with concentrated carbon monoxide for power generation on Mars.

Project Partners


Technische Universität Graz, Christian Doppler Labor für Brennstoffzellensysteme, Institut für Chemische Technologie anorganischer Stoffe - Viktor Hacker, Michael Monsberger

Contact Address

Technische Universität Graz
Christian Doppler Labor für Brennstoffzellensysteme
Institut für Chemische Technologie
anorganischer Stoffe
Viktor Hacker, Michael Monsberger
Steyrergasse 21
A-8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 (316) 873 8780
Fax: +43 (316) 873 8782