Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs): A review of an environmentally clean and efficient source of energy

A. Boudghene Stambouli, E. Traversa

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

1451 Scopus citations


The generation of energy by clean, efficient and environmental-friendly means is now one of the major challenges for engineers and scientists. Fuel cells convert chemical energy of a fuel gas directly into electrical work, and are efficient and environmentally clean, since no combustion is required. Moreover, fuel cells have the potential for development to a sufficient size for applications for commercial electricity generation. This paper outlines the acute global population growth and the growing need and use of energy and its consequent environmental impacts. The existing or emerging fuel cells' technologies are comprehensively discussed in this paper. In particular, attention is given to the design and operation of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs), noting the restrictions based on materials' requirements and fuel specifications. Moreover, advantages of SOFCs with respect to the other fuel cell technologies are identified. This paper also reviews the limitations and the benefits of SOFCs in relationship with energy, environment and sustainable development. Few potential applications, as long-term potential actions for sustainable development, and the future of such devices are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-455
Number of pages23
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrodes
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Solid Electrolytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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