Department of Chemistry; Group for Functional Inorganic Materials/ FERMiO / Solid State Electrochemistry (prof. Truls Norby)
(List, descriptions and links under development)
The proton conducting fuel cell (PCFC) projects "package"
Oxygen permeable membranes (Norsk Hydro/RCN):
Project for studies of ceramic, dense oxygen permeable membranes. The Norwegian petroleum companies Norsk Hydro and Statoil have together with SINTEF and the University of Oslo and Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU) conducted world-leading developments and science on mixed conducting perovskites for use as oxygen permeation gas separation membranes. Separation of oxygen from air can be used as such to replace distillation of liquefied air, or it can be accomplished by extracting the oxygen directly to partially oxidise natural gas or other fossil fuels. In both cases the rejection of nitrogen allows oxygen to oxidise fossil fuels and create products or CO2 without N2. This increase the value of the product stream and facilitates CO2 sequestration.
In the present project Norsk Hydro and RCN finance studies of properties of doped perovskite-related oxides, notably cation diffusion (that determines the long term stability of the membrane) and oxygen diffusion and surface kinetics (that determine the throughput of oxygen in the membrane). One post-doc (Zuoan Li) and one PhD fellow (Nebojsa Cebacek) are working in the project since spring 2007.
Hydrogen in oxides (HYDROX, RCN):
The project undertakes fundamental investigations of hydrogen species in oxides; protons, neutral hydrogen, and hydride ions. The project will contribute to the long-term development and understanding of proton conductors (for fuel cells and electrolyzers), hydrogen separation membranes, and novel hydrogen storage materials. It will also contribute to understanding the role of hydrogen in semiconducting oxides for electronics and solar cells. The work will focus on thermodynamics, new experimental approaches, and seeking answers to current riddles regarding the stability of the neutral and reduced hydrogen species in oxidic environments. In particular, the project will measure hydration enthalpies of acceptor-doped oxides by isothermal reaction calorimetry, investigate hydration of grain boundaries, measure the concentration and thermodynamics of neutral hydrogen (atoms and/or molecules) in oxides, and measure the thermodynamics of hydride ions in oxyhydrides. This broad approach will enable a fruitful interdisciplinary investigation and discussion of hydrogen species in demanding cases such as wide bandgap semiconductors (e.g. ZnO), gate dielectrics (e.g. ZrO2) and novel transparent conducting oxides (e.g. Ca12Al14O33), and will integrate theory and modelling with experimental studies. The project involves groups at the University of Oslo (UiO) specializing in hydrogen defects in oxides, materials thermodynamics and modelling, and on studies of hydrogen in semiconductors. It also embodies collaboration and visits to the other leading groups worldwide in the field. The project educates two PhD candidates and recruits one post-doc researcher in a wide field of functional materials for energy and hydrogen technologies.
The project is supported by related activities in hydrogen in oxides, in search for new proton conductors, in nano-ionics, and in development of fuel cells and gas separation membranes based on proton and mixed proton conductors, covered by various projects below.
This project covers a University PhD scholarship held by Cand. Scient. Harald Fjeld at Department of Chemistry. It addresses various aspects of proton transport in nano-dimensions of oxides; grain boundaries and electrodes.
Functional materials and nanotechnology at UiO (FUNMAT@UiO)
Hydrogen in oxides
This project comprises a PhD fellowship for Cand. Scient. Christian Kjølseth, and supports the activities in the overall Hydrogen in Oxides effort of the research group. See description above. Kjølseth focuses on hydration thermodynamics of bulk and grain boundaries in perovskites such as BaZrO3 in order to help understand how the grain boundary resistance of these proton conducting oxides can be diminished. In addition he studies hydrogenation thermodynamics in ZnO, which attracts interest as a novel semiconductor and electrooptic material. In collaboration with semi-conductor physicists at SMN, we hope to help understand how ZnO can be made p-type semi-conducting.
Proton conduction in oxysalts
This project comprises a PhD fellowship for Nalini Vajeeston. Focus is on conductivity in potential new proton conductors, notably oxysalts such as phosphates. At present the project has been drawn to the properties of diphosphates of the type MP2O7 where recent literature reports excitingly high proton conduction at temperatures around 250 °C but where other investigators cannot reproduce the.high conduction. In any case, the conductivity seems to be protonic, and the defect situation represents an interesting challenge.
RCN/Nanomat; Functional oxides for energy technology (FOET):
This project is one among three national FUNMAT-initiatives in the NANOMAT programme, with collaborators at SINTEF, NTNU, and UiO, led by Rune Bredesen at SINTEF. It covers several aspects of oxides in enrgy technology.
Part A addresses ion conducting oxides for fuel cells and gas separation membranes, and has 6 subprojects:
A1 Novel proton conductors
A2 Proton conductors for fuel cells and membranes
A3 Cation diffusion
A6 The database project
Part B addresses semiconducting oxides for photovoltaics, and has 3 subprojects:
Part C addresses synthesis and fabrication of materials and structures, and has 2 subprojects:
Ceramic Hydrogen Separation Membranes (CERHYSEP, EU):
In this EU GROWTH project the partners investigated hydrogen permeation in and separation by various types of ceramic materials, including microporous silica and dense mixed proton-electron-conducting oxides.
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