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Thermoreversible Gelcasting for Energy-Related Materials

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are efficient devices for producing electricity from a variety of gaseous fuels, including hydrogen, methane, and propane through a clean solid-state reaction.?е║ A typical SOFC consists of a porous nickel + yttria-stabilized zirconia (Ni-YSZ) support layer and anode, YSZ electrolyte, and lanthanum strontium manganate (LSM) cathode.?е║ The efficiency of the SOFC depends in part on the morphology of the pore network, which serves as the conduit for fuel to reach the electrolyte and reaction products to escape, and the number of triple phase boundaries (TPBs) between pore, electrolyte, and anode phases.?е║ In particular, the tortuosity of the pore network limits transport and should be minimized while the number of TPBs should be maximized.?е║ Thermoreversible gelcasting (TRG) provides a convenient pathway to producing net-shaped, porous bodies such as SOFC supports.?е║ The pore networks of SOFC supports produced with this technique are evaluated using mercury intrusion porosimetry and X-ray computed tomography in order to optimize pore size and pore network morphology and tortuosity. Thermoelectric generators provide the ability to convert waste heat from industrial processes and transportation into electricity.?е║ Oxide-based thermoelectric generators have advantages over their more common metal counterparts due to their better temperature and environmental stability.?е║ Calcium cobaltite-based materials have high thermoelectric figures of merit at high temperatures.?е║ Using TRG, the material can be aligned in a chosen direction during component processing, producing anisotropic properties that improve the thermoelectric figure of merit in that direction.

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