skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Highly-Active and Contaminant-Tolerant Cathodes for Durable Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Abstract

The objective of this project is to investigate the fundamental degradation methods occurring in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathodes when exposed to chromium and carbon dioxide contamination and to rationally design alkaline earth-based catalysts to increase stability and tolerance to contaminate poisoning. With a mechanistic and fundamental understanding of the degradation methods, advanced catalytic surface modifications can be applied to reduce degradation. The specific technical objectives are: (1) To identify/develop new catalysts (alkaline-earth based-) that are compatible chemically with the state-of-the-art cathode materials at high temperatures required for fabrication and with contaminates commonly encountered under operating conditions; (2) To improve the infiltration process for optimal control of the thickness, composition, and uniformity of the catalyst coatings; (3) To evaluate the electro-catalytic activity toward ORR of the chemically-stable materials when exposed to different types of contaminants using electrical conductivity relaxation measurements on bar samples and performance evaluation of catalyst-infiltrated cathodes; (4) To unravel the contamination-tolerant mechanisms of the new catalyst coatings under realistic environmental conditions (with different types of contaminants) using powerful in situ and in operando characterization techniques performed on model cells with thin-film/pattern electrodes, as guided by modeling and simulation; (5) To establish scientific basis for rational designmore » of new catalysts of high tolerance to contaminants; (6) To validate the long term stability of modified LSCF cathodes in commercially available cells/stacks under ROC. Alkaline earth-based catalysts have been systematically explored and tested under various contamination conditions. BaCoO 3-δ (BCO) was shown to produce the best catalytic activity enhancement as well as stability in a variety of contaminating conditions, including CO 2 and chromium. The microstructural evolution was investigated with SEM, EDS, and Raman spectroscopy, showing the BCO catalyst prevents the formation of insulating SrCrO 4 by forming electrically conductive BaCrO 4. Electrochemical relaxation measurements determined the BCO catalyst coatings increased the surface diffusion coefficient but did not significantly affect the diffusion coefficient and determined an optimum surface modification layer of 100 nm. A novel Ba 0.9Co 0.7Fe 0.2Nb 0.1O x (BCFN) catalyst was also shown to have excellent stability in chromium containing atmospheres. A novel surface sol-gel (SSG) surface modification, which offers superior thickness and compositional control, was applied to SOFCs to produce BaO catalyst coatings. SSG BaO coatings were shown to produce conformal coatings on the electrode surface, greatly 4 increasing stability in chromium containing atmospheres. An atomic level mechanistic approach was applied to investigate the stability of PrBa 0.8Ca 0.2Co 2O 5+δ (PBCC) with respect to a variety of common contaminants, demonstrating thermodynamically its superior stability in CO 2 containing atmospheres. Finally, the best catalyst coatings demonstrated in this project, BCO and PBCC, were applied to full cells which demonstrated superior stability for over 300 hours in CO 2 and Cr atmospheres« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1668664
Report Number(s):
DE-FE-0031201
DOE Contract Number:  
FE0031201
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; 10 SYNTHETIC FUELS; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION

Citation Formats

Liu, Meilin. Highly-Active and Contaminant-Tolerant Cathodes for Durable Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.2172/1668664.
Liu, Meilin. Highly-Active and Contaminant-Tolerant Cathodes for Durable Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1668664
Liu, Meilin. Tue . "Highly-Active and Contaminant-Tolerant Cathodes for Durable Solid Oxide Fuel Cells". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1668664. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1668664.
@article{osti_1668664,
title = {Highly-Active and Contaminant-Tolerant Cathodes for Durable Solid Oxide Fuel Cells},
author = {Liu, Meilin},
abstractNote = {The objective of this project is to investigate the fundamental degradation methods occurring in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathodes when exposed to chromium and carbon dioxide contamination and to rationally design alkaline earth-based catalysts to increase stability and tolerance to contaminate poisoning. With a mechanistic and fundamental understanding of the degradation methods, advanced catalytic surface modifications can be applied to reduce degradation. The specific technical objectives are: (1) To identify/develop new catalysts (alkaline-earth based-) that are compatible chemically with the state-of-the-art cathode materials at high temperatures required for fabrication and with contaminates commonly encountered under operating conditions; (2) To improve the infiltration process for optimal control of the thickness, composition, and uniformity of the catalyst coatings; (3) To evaluate the electro-catalytic activity toward ORR of the chemically-stable materials when exposed to different types of contaminants using electrical conductivity relaxation measurements on bar samples and performance evaluation of catalyst-infiltrated cathodes; (4) To unravel the contamination-tolerant mechanisms of the new catalyst coatings under realistic environmental conditions (with different types of contaminants) using powerful in situ and in operando characterization techniques performed on model cells with thin-film/pattern electrodes, as guided by modeling and simulation; (5) To establish scientific basis for rational design of new catalysts of high tolerance to contaminants; (6) To validate the long term stability of modified LSCF cathodes in commercially available cells/stacks under ROC. Alkaline earth-based catalysts have been systematically explored and tested under various contamination conditions. BaCoO3-δ (BCO) was shown to produce the best catalytic activity enhancement as well as stability in a variety of contaminating conditions, including CO2 and chromium. The microstructural evolution was investigated with SEM, EDS, and Raman spectroscopy, showing the BCO catalyst prevents the formation of insulating SrCrO4 by forming electrically conductive BaCrO4. Electrochemical relaxation measurements determined the BCO catalyst coatings increased the surface diffusion coefficient but did not significantly affect the diffusion coefficient and determined an optimum surface modification layer of 100 nm. A novel Ba0.9Co0.7Fe0.2Nb0.1Ox (BCFN) catalyst was also shown to have excellent stability in chromium containing atmospheres. A novel surface sol-gel (SSG) surface modification, which offers superior thickness and compositional control, was applied to SOFCs to produce BaO catalyst coatings. SSG BaO coatings were shown to produce conformal coatings on the electrode surface, greatly 4 increasing stability in chromium containing atmospheres. An atomic level mechanistic approach was applied to investigate the stability of PrBa0.8Ca0.2Co2O5+δ (PBCC) with respect to a variety of common contaminants, demonstrating thermodynamically its superior stability in CO2 containing atmospheres. Finally, the best catalyst coatings demonstrated in this project, BCO and PBCC, were applied to full cells which demonstrated superior stability for over 300 hours in CO2 and Cr atmospheres},
doi = {10.2172/1668664},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1668664}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {4}
}