Steven McIntosh

McIntosh, Steven

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Contact Information

Telephone: 2-2714

Research Interests

Fuel cells, heterogeneous catalysis, electrochemistry, solid state ionics

Research Description

The research areas of our group are interdisciplinary in nature and encompass the fields of catalysis, solid-state ionics, electrochemistry and reaction engineering. These fields come together in research projects centered on the development of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) and high temperature membrane reactors.

SOFC are considered as one of the most promising technologies to revolutionize the way we generate and distribute electrical energy. Our group believes that the route to increased cell performance and, ultimately, wider application of SOFC is through the design of new materials and composites for SOFC electrodes.

For efficient operation, an SOFC electrode must be porous for gas diffusion, possess both ionic and electronic conductivity and be catalytically active towards the desired reaction. We have two complementary goals. First, we aim to increase fundamental knowledge of how current materials function, not only individually but as part of composite electrodes. Second, we will use this knowledge to develop new materials and manufacture SOFC that will operate on a wide variety of fuels with increased efficiency. A wide range of experimental techniques are utilized to probe from the nanoscale funcation and design of materials to the macroscale operation of a fuel cell.

Membrane reactors are a promising technology for synthesis gas production from methane as they combine oxygen separation with reaction. Syn-gas is a feedstock for gas-to-liquid plants and a source of hydrogen. The materials used in such reactors are similar to those for SOFC and the two projects share common themes of materials design coupled to application.

Selected Publications