Standard Article

MEA/cell preparation methods: Europe/USA

Fuel Cell Technology and Applications

Solid oxide fuel cells and systems (SOFC)


  1. D. Stöver1,
  2. H. P. Buchkremer1,
  3. J. P. P. Huijsmans2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f308082

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Stöver, D., Buchkremer, H. P. and Huijsmans, J. P. P. 2010. MEA/cell preparation methods: Europe/USA. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Institut für Werkstoffe und Verfahren der Energietechnik (IWV), Jülich, Germany

  2. 2

    Shell Hydrogen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Cell processing is a key element to providing technical quality and moreover limiting the cost of manufacturing. The processing of cells for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) mostly involves powder technology using suitable methods for the production of bulk as well as layer structured components. The different existing cell concepts and designs are briefly introduced, including tubular and planar types. Methods for the manufacture of substrates and those of layer application are distinguished.

Main tools for substrate processing are warm pressing, extrusion and tape casting. These methods are most commonly used to manufacture tubes (by extrusion) as well as plates or foils; possibly by use of all three methods.

A variety of coating methods is available and applied to build up the different multilayers necessary to make a fuel cell operational. Wet powder spraying is a flexible wet chemical suspension method to apply electrodes, electrolytes and contact layers. It requires the post treatment of sintering. Vacuum slip casting is a very similar method using suspension pouring on a porous substrate and is used for anode and electrolyte deposition. Electrochemical vapor deposition is used for the production of highly dense electrolytes ready for use without any post treatment, however low deposition rates and high temperatures are drawbacks for mass production. The established technique for plasma spraying is also discussed to some detail. However gas tightness for thin electrolytes and coatings on edges might still be a problem. Screen-printing is also well established in applying ceramic layers on supporting substrates. Electrodes have been produced in various laboratories. Calendaring has been considered, especially as a lamination route to producing complete cells.

Most of the methods need post heat treatments and in order to address the problem of cost reduction, co-firing steps should be considered. This causes problems of bending and stresses which have to be considered carefully. The chapter closes with some cost considerations of the processes involved.


  • solid oxide fuel cell;
  • SOFC;
  • fuel cell processing methods;
  • fuel cell preparation methods;
  • manufacturing SOFC;
  • cost issues of fuel cells