Dr. Lee Jong Ho and Dr. Ji Ho Il Are KIST’s “Persons of the Month”
On September 28, Dr. Lee Jong Ho and Dr. Ji Ho Il from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST)’s High Temperature Energy Materials Research Center received the KIST Person of the Month Award in recognition of their outstanding research.
Their team successfully developed a commercializable high-performance protonic ceramic fuel cell. These days, ceramic fuel cells are a big topic within the global scientific community, due to their high power-generating efficiency and compatibility with various fuels. And the conductivity of protonic ceramic fuel cells is over 100 times higher than that of conventional ceramic fuel cells, since the protonic version is comprised of ceramic electrolytes that conduct hydrogen ions (i.e. “protons”), the lightest of ions.
In a historical first, the KIST team was able to systematize the principle that electrolytes experience increased density when joint electrolyte-electrode structures are heated, and they used this knowledge to significantly reduce the necessary processing temperature. Furthermore, they secured commercial feasibility by applying the concept of large-scale screen-printing used in other forms of mass production, as well as a microwave process to enable rapid, low-temperature heating.
All this can be viewed as a giant breakthrough for eventually commercializing protonic ceramic fuel cells, and the specific details were recently published in the academic journal Nature Energy.
KIST’s Person of the Month Award recognizes and rewards overachievers who contribute to the institute in creative, innovative ways. Winners are selected by the Reward Deliberation Committee.