Award Winners

Coating keeps fuel cells vital

Sun, 08/14/2011 - 8:00pm

2011 R&D 100 Winner
NETL Mn-Co CoatingIn large amounts, the otherwise useful element chromium is considered toxic and carcinogenic for humans. It’s also poisonous to solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), evaporating from ferritic stainless steel-based interconnects and increasing the electrical resistance. This reduces efficiency and operational lifetime, and is the primary challenge facing developers of SOFCs as viable power sources. SOFCs are considered an attractive power producer of electricity because their only reaction products are water, carbon dioxide, and electricity.

A team of experts from the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Albany, Ore., West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.V., and Faraday Technology Inc., Clayton, Ohio, have developed a manganese-cobalt (Mn-Co) spinel coating specifically tailored for interconnects that prevent chromium poisoning of the cathode, extending the life of the stack. This Electroplated Mn-Co Coating for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Interconnects works by limiting the transport abilities of chromium and oxygen while also meeting a number of criteria necessary to prevent the coating itself from interfering with the action of the SOFC. It is thermodynamically stable, has low ohmic resistance, has a well-matched thermal expansion coefficient, and is chemically compatible with the remainder of the stack.

Electroplated coating for solid oxide fuel cell interconnects

National Energy Technology Laboratory
West Virginia University
Faraday Technology Inc.

Development Team

NETL Mn-Co Coating Development Team
(l-r): Randall Gemmen, Timothy Hall, Xingbo Liu, Heather McCrabb, Christopher Johnson, and Junwei Wu



The Electroplated Mn-Co Coating for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Interconnects Development Team
Xingbo Liu, Principal Developer, West Virginia University
Randall Gemmen, National Energy Technology Laboratory
Timothy Hall, Faraday Technology Inc.
Christopher Johnson, National Energy Technology Laboratory
Heather McCrabb, Faraday Technology Inc.
Junwei Wu, West Virginia University

Award Year



Faraday Technology Inc.
National Energy Technology Laboratory (U.S. Dept. of Energy)
West Virginia University
West Virginia University/Harbin Institute of Technology (China)


Timothy Hall (Primary)
Heather McGrabb (Primary)
Randall Gemmen (Primary)
Christopher Johnson (Primary)
Xingbo Liu (Primary)
Junwei Wu (Primary)

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