For many of us the word ‘ceramics’ conjures up images of quaint tea sets and fancy vases. But when it comes to this material, at CSIRO we’re doing much more than pouring cups of Earl Grey and snacking on scones.

Ceramics are also used in fuel cells to generate electricity. In fact, ceramic fuel cells produce the highest electrical efficiency (up to 60 per cent), can use heat recovery technologies for a total system efficiency of up to 85 per cent, and emit near zero emissions.

Our in-house expert in advanced materials Dr Manh Hoang was recently awarded the Sir Ian McLennan Achievement for Industry  for his work in material development for ceramic fuel cell applications.

Mr Charles Allen (Member of the Sir Ian McLennan Trust) and Dr Manh Hoang
Mr Charles Allen (Member of the Sir Ian McLennan Trust) and Dr Manh Hoang

Mr Charles Allen (Member of the Sir Ian McLennan Trust) and Dr Manh Hoang

Since 1993, Dr Hoang has been involved in a fuel cell research program with Australian company, Ceramic Fuel Cells. His engagement with the company has led to the development of a new material production process as well as the construction of a commercial plant in the United Kingdom. The plant has successfully produced a highly engineered ceramic for the manufacture of solid oxide fuel cells.

The Sir Ian McLennan Achievement for Industry Award honours the contribution made by the late Sir Ian McLennan to the application of science and technology to Australia’s industrial development.