Numerical investigation of solid oxide fuel cell performance

Solid oxide fuel cells are efficient devices to supply electric power and heat, especially for stationary applications. However, degradation mechanisms, poor electrode optimisation and costly manufacturing processes limit their applicability. We apply first-principle models, based on species and charge balances, to describe the interplay between electrochemical phenomena, degradation mechanisms and microstructure, from powder preparation to electrode performance.

Main activities on this topic:

  • electrochemical simulation of electrodes and single cells, from 1D to 3D
  • physically-based simulation and interpretation of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)
  • generation and analysis of advanced electrode micro/nano-structures for improved power density
  • numerical investigation of nickel coarsening and redox cycling

Research group
Dr. Antonio Bertei, Prof. Cristiano Nicolella

External collaborations:
Dr. Xuekun Lu, National Physics Laboratory & University College London (UK)
Dr. Chih-Che Chueh, National Cheng Kung University (Taiwan)
Prof. Nigel P. Brandon, Imperial College London (UK)


  • Experimental and numerical characterization and optimization of the microstructure of advanced/hierarchical porous media with application to fuel cells and batteries, Ministry of Science and Technology (Taiwan) grant no. MOST 108-2218-E-006-028-MY3 (2019-2021)
  • Enhanced Durability Materials for Advanced Stacks of New Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (ENDURANCE), FP7-JTI Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, grant agreement 621207, (2014-2017)
  • Innovative Dual Membrane Fuel Cell (IDEAL-Cell), European FP7-FET, grant agreement 213389, (2008-2011)

Main publications: