Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Center of Economic Excellence Endowed Chair

Dr. Kenneth Reifsnider
SmartState Endowed Chair in Solid Oxide Fuels
University of South Carolina 

The University of South Carolina seeks to lead America's effort to be energy independent through its Future FuelsTM initiative

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Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Center of Economic Excellence



Award Amount

$53 million

Extramural Research Funding

$31.2 million

University Partner

University of South Carolina

Private Sector Partner

Multiple Industry Partners

The Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Center is part of the larger University of South Carolina (USC) Future Fuels® Initiative, which works to develop new fuel and energy choices, which are becoming increasingly important as the United States and other nations look to reduce their reliance on carbon-based fuel.

Solid oxide fuel cells are one of the leading types of fuel cells available for commercialization. They can be used in large, high-power systems such as in full-scale industrial and large-scale electricity generating stations.

The Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Center is working to remove barriers to the use of solid oxide fuel cells by designing components to accommodate variations in temperature and transport associated with practical uses, understanding long-term behavior and durability of solid oxide, developing testing protocols that simulate solid oxide fuel cells’ behavior over their lifetime, and developing systems for stationary power generation.

Work associated with this Center has led to the creation of a “green” startup company, NextGenn, Inc. The company is engaged in research and development in the areas of materials, mechanics, durability, systems, controls, fabrication, and manufacturing of solid oxide fuel cells and related technologies to develop and commercialize products.

USC has the nation’s only National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Fuel Cells (CFC). Through the CFC, USC is collaborating with the Korea Institute of Energy Research, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy in Germany, and 20 national industrial partners.