Novel High-Temperature Proton and Mixed-Proton Electron Conductors for

Proton Conducting Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and H2-Separation Membranes


High-temperature proton conductors and mixed proton-electron conductors have potentials to serve as membranes in processes within future environment friendly energy technologies. Proton Conducting Fuel Cells (PC-SOFCs) offer, among other advantages, better and simpler fuel utilization than conventional SOFCs. Mixed proton-electron conductors may be applied as membranes for hydrogen production and purification with the advantage of 100% selectivity, higher operation temperature, and improved long-term stability compared to present membrane candidate materials.

State-of-the-art high-temperature proton- and mixed proton-electron conductors consist of the basic alkaline-earth cerates and zirconates. The reactivity of these materials with, in particular CO2, has so far limited implementation of high-temperature proton conductors in industrial processes. Consequently, there is a need for new materials that combine the required functional properties with sufficient mechanical and chemical stability.


Develop CO2 - stable HTPC and HTMPEC membranes for fuel cells and H2separation membranes with area specific proton or ambipolar resistances below 0.1 ohmcm2

This will be achieved by improving the transport properties of compounds within the rare-earth niobates/tantalates and tungstates through:

  • developing heterophase-doping as a new means to increase proton transport in oxides,
  • application and development of "soft chemistry" routes in order to prepare otherwise unattainable low-temperature phases and homogeneously doped materials,
  • systematic use of density functional theory (DFT) calculations for pre-screening of selected doped systems in order to predict proton activation energies
  • strengthening the understanding of the relation between structural and functional properties of high-temperature proton conductors, by neutron and X-ray powder diffraction on bulk systems and on designed electrochemical cells under fuel cell simulated conditions. Rietveld and reverse Monte-Carlo modeling (RMC) techniques will be applied to understand structural disorder and proton dynamics, combined also with with quantum-mechanical molecular dynamics (QMD)
  • developing novel routes for thin dense films on porous substrates of the new classes of the HTPC and HTMPEC materials.

  • Partners

    The project brings together five of the leading laboratories in Europe that all have focus on solid-state ionics for future energy technologies

    For more details on the respective partners role in the project visit the subpage "beneath" the logos

    Key figures

    Meetings and Symposia

    Below a list of project meetings and symposia arranged within the framework of the project, typically two project meetings every year, where one of them is being held within the series of NorFERM symposia initiated within the FERMiO framwork:

  • Official kick-off meeting, Oslo, Norway, March 11 and 12, 2008
  • NorFERM-2008, Science and Applications on High Temperature Proton Conductors, Gol, Norway, October 3-7, 2008
  • Scheduled: 3rd D-INNER project meeting, Roskilde, Denmark, March 2 and 3, 2009
  • Scheduled: NorFERM-2009, N-INNER Symposium on High Temperature Proton and Mixed Proton Electron Conductors for Future Energy Technologies sometime, somewhere Fall 2009

  • Publications and Presentations