Manuel E. Brito
Clean Energy Research Center at University of Yamanashi
Prof. Manuel E. Brito, a native of the Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela, received an Eng. D. degree from Nagaoka University of Technology (Japan) in 1989. He joined Clean Energy Research Center at University of Yamanashi (Japan) in April 2013 after serving during 21 years as Chief Research Scientist at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan. In AIST he was mainly associated to national projects on structural ceramics and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Although he is well known for his work on the development of silicon nitride ceramics, currently his research focuses on microstructural characterization of dissimilar material interfaces in SOFCs and solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs), as well. He is author or co-author of more than 180 publications (cited over 2500 times), 8 international patents and has edited four proceedings books. He he serves in the editorial board of STAM Journal and Transactions of the MRS-Japan. Dr. Brito was a standing trustee of the Materials Research Society-Japan (MRS-J) till June 2013 and he is a regular member of -among others- the Materials Research Society (USA), The Electrochemical Society (USA) and the SOFC Society of Japan. Prof. Brito can be reached at email@example.com.
SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELLS (SOFCs): THE GOOD OLD MATERIAL SCIENCE?
SOFCs are high temperature electrochemical devices capable of converting the chemical energy contained in fuels to electrical energy and heat with high efficiency; efficiencies than can exceed 80%. Moreover, low level emissions make of SOFCs a very attractive energy source that comply with pressing environmental requirements. At the same time, SOFCs can be operated with various types of hydrocarbons fuels, an extremely important advantage that allows the use of existing infrastructure. It is for these reasons that countries with a high energy deficit, like Japan, have accelerated the development and commercialization of SOFCs for residential use; a first stage in the implementation of this technology in large scale plants.
Materials scientist teams have played a paramount role in the development of this technology. SOFCs, also known as ceramics fuel cells, are indeed a convenient playground to study interactions between dissimilar materials at high temperatures (>600 oC), diffusion across electrode (perovskite)/electrolyte (fluorite) interfaces, and the development of interfacial structures and their correlation with the electrochemical performance and durability of SOFCs. This talk introduces the author own experience on several of these topics -accumulated over the years- during direct participation in national projects promoted by the Japanese government. The talk will discuss as well new approaches and challenges in the materials science associated to SOFCs devices, like high performance electrodes design, catalysis and electro-catalysis at the “nano-level”.